Breakfast supports two new programs
Taking part in the fundraiser for The Grind Salvation Army youth centre Saturday at B’s Cafe were (front from left) Amanda Wilson, Teneya Shires, Hope Thomas and Bailey Davidson. In the back were (from left) Debbie Waito, Dave Waito, Elisha Kinnear, Kaylee Severin, Jenna-Marie Cyr, Robert Kent, Angela Kinnear, Jess Gagnon, Jacinta Kinnear, Alix Huard, Jessie Gardiner and Janna DesRoches. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
Several people enjoyed a tasty breakfast at B’s Cafe Saturday, all the while supporting programs offered by The Grind Salvation Army Youth Centre.
The second annual Breakfast Fundraiser and bake sale brought in more than $500 which will go towards the girls night out program and homework supper club, two new programs being run out of the youth centre located on Pembroke Street West.
Girls night out is held on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The program is dedicated to empowering and educating young women, and providing a safe place to hang out together, without boys. Volunteer Janna DesRoches is running the program, which also allows for one-on-one time to address issues.
The homework supper club is also new. It runs Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those who attend have access to laptops and the Internet, and can get help with their homework. The youth also cook their own meals, with direction, and clean up afterwards. The idea is to teach teens the skills they will need when they are out on their own. The menus also follow the Canada Food Guide for nutrition, noted Amanda Wilson, program co-ordinator for The Grind.
A number of girls who take part in the programs were on hand to help serve and clear dishes and work the bake sale table which was located just outside the entrance to the cafe. Many of the girls and parents provided the items for the sale.
Being involved in the fundraiser was an easy decision for B’s Cafe owner Dave Waito, as he feels the cause couldn’t be better.
“[The Grind Youth Centre] is a great program,” he says. “It gets kids off the street, teaches them skills and responsibility for themselves and others.”
Among the youth that attend the programs and helped out at Saturday’s fundraiser were Alix Huard and Jacinta Kinnear.
Huard has been going to The Grind since March, when she learned about the programs from her worker at the Phoenix Centre. She finds it is a good place to socialize and do things she wouldn’t get to do otherwise.
“It has been a really good experience,” Huard said.
Kinnear has been attending The Grind for two years and now two of her younger sisters also attend. She thinks it is a good place for younger teens to make friends, socialize and build confidence. She already volunteers and when she is too old to attend the programs, she plans to volunteer on a regular basis.
One of the programs she looks forward to is Fuel, a faith-based youth group which meets Thursday nights at The Grind.
“It is a great way to learn Christian values and there are always people to talk to,” Kinnear said.
Other programs run at The Grind are the Monday night music program which involves the house band Common Ground, and the most popular program is the Grind Cafe Friday nights for youth aged 10 to 19. There are also plans to reopen the indoor skate park above Giant Tiger on Saturdays, although an exact date is still being determined.
Wilson noted all of The Grind programs are free of charge and run completely by volunteers. She thanked everyone who attended the breakfast and contributes to the programs in other ways.
Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist
(With files from Ryan Paulsen)