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Youth center growing

En-Gedi, meaning “a place to be refreshed,” seems to have brought a breath of fresh air to the Cedar Springs Community as area residents and business professionals strive to provide the much-needed support to keep this community youth center alive.

En-Gedi provides 6-12th graders with a place to hang out, provide special events, mentoring, tutoring, intramural sports, and community service opportunities. The center is growing by leaps and bounds, with 85-plus kids attending every day, Monday—Thursday, from 2:15-5 p.m. at Red Hawk Elementary. With that many kids, an additional classroom was greatly needed, according to En-Gedi Director and Solon Wesleyan Youth Pastor, Tom Holloway.

The Mabie Family (Don, June, Chris, and Tim Mabie) recently stepped up to make that  happen with a second significant cash contribution after learning a fifth room was needed.

“We have over 200 students registered with En-Gedi now,” said Holloway. “Recently we had 110 students at En-Gedi all on one day. We keep outgrowing our space. En-Gedi has the general gathering room with a ping-pong table, video games, couches, and a pool table; the media center for reading, art, and tutoring; the computer lab for students to use and the food room/oasis room provides an area for snacks, drinks, board games, and a television.” He said that with the Mabie donation, a fifth room was added so a “Ga-Ga Ball” court could be assembled. “This is a smaller-scaled circular version of indoor soccer,” he explained. “The kids like some physical activity and this new game is both fast-paced and exciting. Volunteers will be painting and decorating the recently added rooms over spring break,” he added.

Holloway continued, “This youth center has been on the hearts and minds of many people within this community for several years. I believe God is leading this project which is why En-Gedi’s needs continue to be met one-by-one just when we need them the most.”

En-Gedi board member Sue Wolfe feels the same way. “We are so grateful for our local business supporters that have donated either funds or equipment for En-Gedi,” said Wolfe.  “Many individuals, the ministerial association, and churches have donated money and volunteered hours to En-Gedi, which is a non-profit Christ-centered 501c3 organization. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support,” she added.

Most recently, CAN (Community Action Network) decided to assist En-Gedi by volunteering. “This exemplifies En-Gedi’s vision of working together with organizations already in place to help students make positive life choices and under the belief the community is Better Together,” explained Wolfe.

Read more in next week’s Post about a special event to be held on May 13 at Cedar Springs High School at 7 p.m. called “En-Gedi—Come be refreshed.” You won’t want to miss it!

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