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Junior Service Club presents check for teen center to city officials

Members of the Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon presented Mayor Art Risavy with a check for nearly $112,000 for the R.P. Lumber Center’s teen facility at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 19.

The check is the culmination of more than three years of fundraising in support of The Garage, a teen center at the City’s recently opened ice rink and community recreational facility, the R.P. Lumber Center.

“This inviting center wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of the Junior Service members,” Risavy said. “We offer our sincere thanks on behalf of the City, and the families and students who will reap the benefits of this generous labor of love for years to come.”

Junior Service Club members were involved in most aspects of creating The Garage, from the overall theme and furnishings to its laid-back “coffee house” vibe. Located near Edwardsville High School and Metro East Lutheran High School, the center is intended to provide a safe and comfortable space for teens to hang out, study, play games and gather. The space can be expanded to an outside patio area through see-through garage doors.

“We were very thankful that the City allowed us to have a voice and to have some input on this,” said Sarah Dawson, a Junior Service Club member who was president of the nonprofit volunteer group in 2018, when they were asked to lend a hand. “I love it (the teen center). It just warms my heart every time I see it.”

The Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon has been involved in fundraising and community service projects for 84 years. The club took on the teen center as one of its large-scale signature projects. Previous signature projects have included the Boundless Playground at Edwardsville Township Park, the dry play area at the Leon Corlew Park and Splash Pad, and a playground at Glen Carbon’s Schon Park.

Nate Tingley, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department director, said working with the Junior Service Club members was a “very refreshing and uplifting experience.”

“They were dedicated, passionate and prided themselves on getting feedback from the students,” Tingley said. “Their fundraising efforts were incredible and a huge reason for the success of the R.P. Lumber Center.”

The R.P. Lumber Center is at 6289 Tiger Drive in Edwardsville. For more information, visit the website.

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