Members of the Tenino Boys and Girls Club previewed the new Bruno and Evelyne Betti Teen Center as they threw darts and devoured cookies during a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting event Thursday night at Tenino Elementary School.
Kaiden Lindholm, an eighth grader at Tenino Middle School and representative for the Tenino Branch and Youth of the Year, spoke at the event and was one of the driving forces in pushing for a teen center in Tenino.
“When I was running for Youth of the Year the interviewers asked me, ‘What is one thing you would like to see at the Tenino Branch?’” said Lindholm. “My answer… Teen Center.”
The new space features a ping-pong table, a dart board, and plenty of elbow room for foosball along with multiple other outlets for releasing energy. However, the games are not the only thing new for teens utilizing the space.
Teens will also be eligible for programs such as Youth of the Year, Keystone and Torch Club, which focus on character development, speech, and volunteer opportunities to allow teens a chance to grow and promote the idea of service above self.
“This is a space for them and there’s a lot of recreational opportunities in here but we also have programs that are specific to teens,” said Shellica Trevino, Director of Operations. “It’s all intentional and purposeful programming that we are wrapping in recreation and all sorts of fun activities so they can have a well balanced experience.”
The Tenino Boys and Girls Club branch began in 2016 and has since grown to be bustling with 96 members. The program has a daily average of 57 kids who currently use the space in the Tenino Elementary multipurpose room, and estimates 25 teens will now be using the new teen center.
“The opening of The Bruno & Evelyne Betti Teen Center is a testament to a couple known for their kind deeds and generosity to help young people,” said Chris Woods, Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County CEO. “Their gift, coupled with the support of school and community partners in Tenino, will help families in the community and create new opportunities for youth in Tenino.”