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Youth Center to host Martin Luther King Day event for kids

By Joanne Irons
Special to The SUN

On Monday, Jan. 21, the Pagosa Springs Youth Center is once again sponsoring the all-day, stay-and-play day for children ages 5-11.

There is no school on Jan. 21 and youngsters are invited to the center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to have breakfast and lunch and to roller skate, play foosball and pool, do crafts, play basketball and hang out with the staff at the Youth Center.

The annual event also includes signing the Martin Luther King Jr. mural created by Soledad, an artist and past AmeriCorps member, and writing about their dream.

This event was started four years ago when AmeriCorps members had a day of service project that was part of their term. The event donates proceeds to United Way of Archuleta County to help support the work that the charitable organization does for youth in Pagosa Springs.

The suggested donation is $10 for the day, and includes two meals and snacks. Even though the center is no longer a site for AmeriCorps, the staff thought it was important to continue the tradition. Community members also donate money to support children who might not have the suggested donation so the center can offer scholarships.

This year, a sponsor has joined in the effort to make the day even more successful. Liberty Tax is hosting a free roadside party at their location in the Mountain Run Center on Friday Jan. 18. The Mountain Center is located at the corner of Pinon Causeway and Village Drive. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Donations for the skating event will be taken then as well. Business co-owner Elizabeth Meiritz is a former staff member of the Youth Center, served a year with AmeriCorps and participated in the day of service while serving her term. This event was one of her favorites for the youth and Elizabeth couldn’t wait to support Skate Day again this year.

The Youth Center has been one of the United Way partner agencies for the last two years and staff believes it’s important to give back when the opportunity arises. United Way helps many of the nonprofits in the community meet their goals and supports programs that otherwise might disappear. If United Way does not meet its community goal, it cannot fund the agencies that have applied for assistance. After-school programs and summer camp provided by the Youth Center are needed for young people in Pagosa Springs.

United Way, Kiwanis, Roller Derby Girls and members of the Youth Center join staff members Lezlie White, Lory Thompson, Matt Horning and Joanne Irons to host a successful event. If you need early dropoff or later pickup, we will be able to accommodate, with prior arrangement.

To reserve a spot for your children, make a donation or get further information, call the Youth Center at 264-5030 after school or leave a message.

This story was posted on January 10, 2013.