K.I. Sawyer Community Center provides a place for local youth

K.I. SAWYER — The K.I. Sawyer Community Center was established in June to provide a gathering place for the local community, particularly kids. The former Salvation Army building was converted into the center thanks to donations and the efforts of numerous community volunteers. Kids visiting the center are encouraged to get involved in choosing activities which regularly include karaoke, movie nights, and pool tournaments.

“We try to get them involved as much as possible and ask them what they would like, because we want them to come and enjoy the things that we have,” said Community Center Director Jan Livingston.

In addition to entertainment, kids are also provided with homework help after school.

The activities held at the center aren’t limited to youth. Adult groups are welcome to hold meetings and events at the center, and they can even share the basketball court with the kids.

“A lot of people said, ‘oh, how are you going to let adults and kids in the same gym?’ They actually blend together,” said Forsyth Township Clerk Jane Nordeen. “I’ve been watching them through the door sometimes, and a little kid’s ball will go running under the feet of these adults playing basketball, and they’ll stop, help the little kid out, and even show him how to shoot a basket.”

Although it has only existed for a short period of time, the K.I. Sawyer Community Center is already having a significant impact on the surrounding community.

“I had one teenager sit and talk to me the other night, he said, ‘you know, I used to be one of those troublemakers.’ He said, ‘now I come here, I have a place to hang out with my friends, we play pool, we go in the gym and shoot some baskets, sit down and watch a movie.’ It is working, and it takes a while to have progress like this, but this has been tremendous in four months,” Nordeen added.

“It’s just been a great experience watching the kids start to just trickle in at first, and then start coming in every day, and it being what it is now,” said Livingston.

Those interested in the community center are invited to pay it a visit between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday or call (906) 346–3108.

The K.I. Sawyer Community Center will be holding a special event Saturday morning called Mom to Mom at which residents will be selling gently used baby and kids toys, equipment, clothes and more. Visitors are encouraged to bring the entire family to the sale, which starts at 8:00 a.m. Those interested in selling are asked to pre-register by calling Cathy at (906) 236-9159 or Meg at (906) 250-7014. Since tables are limited, sellers are encouraged to bring their own.