Ponoka Youth Centre marks a milestone with 20th anniversary celebration

Cutting the cake: On Sept. 10, 2021, the Ponoka Youth Centre celebrated the 20th anniversary of opening its doors. Pictured here are Joziena Meijer, Heather Patterson, Darryl Stretch, Jesse Vaudry and Beth Reitz, executive director.
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)Cutting the cake: On Sept. 10, 2021, the Ponoka Youth Centre celebrated the 20th anniversary of opening its doors. Pictured here are Joziena Meijer, Heather Patterson, Darryl Stretch, Jesse Vaudry and Beth Reitz, executive director. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Nina Stafford, 4, gets her face painted during the Ponoka Youth Centre’s 20th anniversary celebration on Sept. 10. (Photos by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)Nina Stafford, 4, gets her face painted during the Ponoka Youth Centre’s 20th anniversary celebration on Sept. 10. (Photos by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

The Ponoka Youth Centre celebrated its 20th anniversary with a bang on Sept. 10, holding a full-out party complete with bouncy castles and face painting, a bubble machine and dance floor, balloon artist, cake and hot dogs, topped off with catchy tunes.

There was also a family dance and teen dance, held later in the evening.

Part-way through the celebration, a few of the people who were there when it all started helped to cut the cake.

Joining executive director Beth Reitz at the cake table were Joziena Meijer, a board member for over 18 years, Heather Patterson a volunteer of 20 years, Darryl Stretch, an original youth from 20 years ago, who is now a volunteer, and Jesse Vaudry, an original youth and staff for the past 15 years.

“From the early beginnings of one staff and one program to what it has become now with over a dozen staff and programs and over 20,000 youth visits a year, the Ponoka Youth Centre has seen many struggles and successes over the past twenty years,” said Reitz.

“Through them all we are proud to have served the youth and families of our community continuously.”

The bouncy castles were provided by All About Bouncing Inc. The balloon artist was ‘Rosco the Clown’ and face painter Kynna Hvizdos provided her talents as well.

Music for the evening was supplied by a live D.J. from On The Mark Productions.

“We were really pleased with the turnout,” said Reitz.

“So many people came from the community with their families and just enjoyed the activities and being outside.”

Reitz says it’s because of the support they receive from the community that the youth centre was able to reach this milestone.

“The Ponoka Youth Centre exists because of the strong commitment of our donors, board, volunteers, staff and families.”

Ponoka