Story by Ben Tate
The Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition (WVPC) held its first Youth Appreciation Night on Tues., Aug. 1, in conjunction with the 34th National Night Out. National Night Out, which is observed annually on the first Tues. in August, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and involves over 16,500 communities from all 50 states.
Warwick youth from ages 12 to 17 gathered at the Warwick Valley Community Center, located at 11 Hamilton Ave. in Warwick, to learn about resources available in the community which will hopefully assist in the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse.
Participants enjoyed the company of local police officers, pizza and soft drinks. After an award ceremony where Youth Advisory Board (YAB) members received certificates and T-shirts, evening activities included playing pool and foosball as well as enjoying the Community Center’s new updated playground.
The local event, which was sponsored by the WVPC and the Warwick Police Department, supports the commitment that the teens of Warwick Valley Community Center’s YAB have made to their hometown to be active participants in making Warwick safe and secure by volunteering at fundraisers hosted by the Community Center, offering services to various local organizations and campaigning for a drug-free environment.
Rob Corter, Program Coordinator for the Summer Youth Leadership Program, said, “I think this event is great for getting a group of kids together who have come through our programs and continue to grow, have fun, and recruit other great kids to be a part of the activities that we do.”
Annie Colonna, the Warwick Coalition Coordinator, stated that the Warwick Community Center provides “positive alternatives for teens.”
The WVPC meets every fourth Thurs. at 6:30 p.m. at the Warwick Valley Community Center, while the YAB meets at the Community Center the fourth Fri. of the month (depending on availability of building) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information call Annie Colonna at 986-6422, ext. 4.