Group pushes youth center, swimming pool

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 19, 2003

Fund raising efforts begin Saturday for the $2.5 million neededto build a Brookhaven community center, complete with a publicswimming pool.

A benefit is planned for 7-9:30 p.m., Saturday at Copiah-LincolnCommunity College auditorium to kick off fund raising efforts ofthe non-profit group Serving All People, Inc. (SAP).

“We encourage people to come out and support our effort to bringpeople together to make life better,” said SAP Executive DirectorGwen Smith.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Entertainment will include performances by mime team and dancetroupe Broken Vessel of Vicksburg, Turning Point Missionary MassChoir of Louisiana, comedian Robert Galloway of New Orleans, andFaith Community Fellowship dance team from Jackson.

Donations will be accepted throughout the night’s events. Smithsaid the fund raiser is the first of many planned before theproposed November date for the start of construction on thecommunity center.

The center will include a number of activities geared towardyouth in need of extracurricular entertainment after school and inthe summer.

“Our research showed that a lot of children get in troublebetween the hours of 4 and 8 p.m.,” said Smith, adding that lack ofsupervision is a major factor. “We want to provide something goodfor them to do.”

A movie theater featuring family oriented films at a nominalcharge will be available, along with a an after-school care programand cafeteria.

“We will feed the children and provide a meal for them so whenthey go home the parents won’t have to worry about that,” saidSmith.

The handicap accessible center will be open Monday throughThursday with office space available for use on weekends forservice organizations.

A proposed site for the center is a plot of approximately 11acres between Main Street and Clara Street on the edge of the citylimits.

The land was the best available site approved by the UnitedStates Department of Agriculture Rural Development, which mayprovide a federal grant of $70,000 for the project.

SAP board members have been preparing for the major project forthree years. Board members are Rita Rich, Lawrence C. Smith,Roderick Henderson, Tucker Peavey, Rickey Kelly, the Rev. LeroyRussell, Mark Upton, Andrew Graham and Curtis Kees.

“We looked into the community and our organization did not wantto duplicate everything else,” said Smith about the ideas for thecommunity center.

Anyone wishing to make donations can call Gwen Smith at 835-1527or SAP President Lawrence C. Smith at (601) 660-1691 or mail checkspayable to SAP Inc., P.O. Box 662, Brookhaven, MS 39602. Donationscan also be made at Union Planters. All donations aretax-deductible.