Dinner to salute local youths

The positive efforts of young people in the community will be saluted at a special dinner here Friday night.
The Rainy River District Substance Abuse Prevention Team is sponsoring the dinner, which is slated for 6 p.m. at the Joy of Life Fellowship Church (714 Armit Ave.)
“We’re honouring youth in the community,” SAP co-ordinator Brad Herbert said Thursday morning. “There will be entertainment, speakers, and recognition of youths’ positive behaviour.”
Those interested in attending the dinner can call the church (274-0880) to reserve a seat as space is limited.
Herbert said it is key to recognize the contribution of youths in Fort Frances since, for the most part, their efforts go unnoticed.
“Everything is so focused on the negative, we’re not recognizing that youth do positive things,” he stressed. “We really have to change community perception.”
Pastor Sandy McEvoy of the Joy of Life Fellowship Church said the dinner is just one step in addressing the issues of youth drug and alcohol abuse in the region.
“I think the town needs to take up the needs of young people in the community,” Pastor McEvoy said Thursday morning. “I would really love to see a youth centre—a centre with pool tables, games, and stuff to have fun without alcohol and drugs.
“Hopefully, I’m not the only one who feels that way . . . because it will take a community effort,” she added.
In the meantime, McEvoy is raising money for a youth group that organizes outings such as camping trips and games for young people aged six-12.
At the dinner, which is free, donations will be accepted and there also will be a silent auction to raise money for the group.
“We wanted to get other kids out there and give them a safe environment to have fun in,” Pastor McEvoy said. “It’s to keep kids off the streets and away from all the garbage out there like drug and alcohol abuse.”