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Youth centre looking for help 0

By Ryan Paulsen, Daily Observer

Ryan Paulsen ryan.paulsen@sunmedia.ca Some of the local youth who frequent The Grind youth drop-in centre, "Grinders" to some, gather at the canteen with director Jerry Novack, right, in preparation for another annual fundraising drive. With no government funding, from any level, the centre relies on the donation of space from the Salvation Army and the generous support of individuals, businesses and service clubs in the community to allow them to provide programming for area teens. Joining Jerry here, from left, are: Jessica Leblanc, Chris Leblanc, Mike Warren, Jenna-arie Cyr, Jacinta Kinnear and Austin Taylor. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.

Ryan Paulsen ryan.paulsen@sunmedia.ca Some of the local youth who frequent The Grind youth drop-in centre, "Grinders" to some, gather at the canteen with director Jerry Novack, right, in preparation for another annual fundraising drive. With no government funding, from any level, the centre relies on the donation of space from the Salvation Army and the generous support of individuals, businesses and service clubs in the community to allow them to provide programming for area teens. Joining Jerry here, from left, are: Jessica Leblanc, Chris Leblanc, Mike Warren, Jenna-arie Cyr, Jacinta Kinnear and Austin Taylor. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.

The scene at The Grind Youth Centre on Saturday night, Feb. 2 was fairly typical: a growing crowd of several dozen local teens chatting, laughing, listening to music and playing pool, air hockey or foosball.

It's the kind of thing that director Jerry Novack really likes to see.

"I look around the room and I just think, 'where would these kids be and what would they be doing if they weren't here?'"

While the facility itself is provided to the centre by the Salvation Army, The Grind still needs to raise fairly considerable funds to maintain its programming – currently running six days or evenings every week – and with that in mind, they've now launched this year's fundraising drive.

"We're looking for 40 sponsors," says Novack, "to kick in $200 each."

If successful, the centre would have $8,000 to help pay for equipment for the facility, supplies for its various groups and activities, and transportation for some of the field trips that it organizes.

With no government funding, The Grind relies on the generous support of local individuals, businesses and service clubs.

"The community has been really supportive in the past," says Novack.

Although this weekend the drop-in night at the centre was Saturday, to participate in the weekend's Sno Spree activities, its usual time is Friday evenings from 6-9 p.m.

Other groups run by the centre include Girls Night Out on Tuesday nights, music lessons on Mondays and an after-school program on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

For more information about The Grind, to get in touch with staff or to find out how to donate to the fundraising drive, go to their website at www.thegrindyouthcentre.ca.

Ryan Paulsen is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.

ryan.paulsen@sunmedia.ca

Follow him on Twitter @PRyanPaulsen.

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