Cutting a cake in style for the Ponoka Youth Centre's 15th anniversary celebration Sept. 16 are former youth members from the first year Matthew Monks-Southwell

Cutting a cake in style for the Ponoka Youth Centre's 15th anniversary celebration Sept. 16 are former youth members from the first year Matthew Monks-Southwell

PYC celebrates 15 years of service

For 15 years the Ponoka Youth Centre (PYC) has been a staple in town offering youth programs for kids of all ages.

For 15 years the Ponoka Youth Centre (PYC) has been a staple in town offering youth programs for kids of all ages.

The centre celebrated this accomplishment Sept. 16 in style with games and many activities, plus hot dogs and snacks for kids and parents. It was a time to be thankful for years of hard work.

Executive director Beth Reitz said looking back at the years of accomplishments there are many children whose lives were improved because of the PYC. “I think about the next 15 years and what we have learned about the last 15 years.”

Over time the PYC has adjusted and expanded programming to meet the needs of Ponoka’s youths and Reitz feels the centre will continue to evolve to bring further benefits to youths.

“Every couple of months we have to readjust what we’re doing,” said Reitz. “Look at what’s going on in the culture of youth. See what the needs are and look at what our resources are.”

“If we ever quite doing that we will become stagnant.”

Along with the many attendees were past staff and youth members, also Mayor Rick Bonnett and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr were in attendance.

For Bonnett, the years of work in the community is worth remembering. “It’s good to see that there’s things happening in town and that the youth are the focus in this place.”

He suggests every kid needs a place like the PYC in their lives as they grow.

Orr spoke to attendees saying the youth centre’s focus is about bettering the community. Giving local youths friendship and a second home is an important part of the programming offered.

Add to that there are parents and board members who care about what happens to kids in Ponoka. “I would suspect a place like this has been a life-giving place not only to just youth, but even some adults as they find a place to do something that really matters.”

He added his praise of Reitz for her years of dedication to the centre.