Friday, October 4, 2013

Teen Center Grand Opening 1954

Lawrence County News October 21, 1954

Lawrenceville's newest nightspot, the youth center, was open Saturday night, with all the ceremony and excitement of the largest nightspot in Hollywood, and indeed it was just as important to the young people of the city.

Early Saturday morning, boys and girls gathered to decorate the hall on the third floor over the A&P store and have everything in readiness for the guests who had been invited to stop in sometime during the day. Many of the visitors were parents of the young people who had worked so faithfully at the center, but there were still a sufficient number of Lawrenceville residents to show that the civic-minded people of the city were in full accord with the idea.

The center has been made festive by streamers of red and white crêpe paper, draped artistically throughout the hall, and red and white balloons hanging from the light fixtures. A large basket of red gladioli and white chrysanthemums had been sent by the Lawrenceville Greenhouse to express their good wishes for the venture. Mrs. C. O. David also sent flowers for the opening.

Members of the Recreation Council were on hand during the afternoon and evening to welcome the guests and explain the activities of the center. Coca-Cola and potato chips were ready for the guest and as a special treat for the young people, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mills furnished popcorn for the group during the evening.

The two Ping-Pong tables were in demand and a large crowd assembled in the lounge watching television until time for the arrival of the high school dance band, under the direction of Ray Hamilton, with Linda Lawless as soloist. The services of the band were free and the piano had been tuned recently under Mr. Hamilton’s supervision.

The center was crowded the entire evening with boys and girls anxious to show their place to the public and proud to be a part of a youth activity group. Guests were surprised at the amount of work that had been accomplished, and were enthusiastic in their praise for the youth center and the  group of students and members of the Recreation Council that had made the center possible.

One visitor, Sheriff  Garrel Burgoon, who has made a close study of juvenile delinquency, stated that if there were more of such youth organizations in the country, where young people could meet and have supervised recreation, juvenile delinquency would be lowered, and a sharp reduction in crime would be noted throughout the country.

Members of the Council wish to express their appreciation to everyone, who has contributed to the success of the project, including the following: Dick Winget, Earl Johnson, Toliver Paint and Wallpaper Company, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Smith, Teegarden Furniture Company, Kiwanis, Elk Lodge 1208, Lawrenceville Lumber Company, Cleff Brothers, Builders Supply Company, Canon's Machine and Welding, Kenneth Brunson, Masonic Lodge, Davis Supply Company, Delta Theta Tau, The Texas Company, Coca-Cola Company, Art  Devonshire, Lawrenceville Sheet Metal Company, Ray Hamilton, Poland's, Big Four, Heath Groceries, Maxwell's Market, and all the people of the city who have given time and money to help.

Plans have been made by the Paris Bakery and the Business and Professional Women's Club to furnish doughnuts and cider for the youth center for the Halloween party October 30.