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New youth drop-in could make a big difference in young lives

An idea for a place for teenagers to hang out and have fun in Bonnyville has come a long way from its planning stages. The Pit Stop is almost ready to open its doors to youth just looking to have a fun, safe time. It’s the brainchild of a few volunteers in the community, including Heather Missen. Missen says that the news of a youth suicide in the community was the catalyst in making the Pit Stop a reality.

“That subject came back up on social media saying ‘We really have to do something. We can’t afford to keep losing kids because there’s such a lack of social places for them to go.’ So, I once again brought (the idea) up and we had eight people who wanted to be part of a committee.”

The Pit Stop will be based out of Bonnyville Centralized High School. The number of hours it will be open will be based on how many volunteers the program can get. Missen hopes that the doors will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. As for entertainment, Missen says the menu is full enough to keep everyone happy.

“We’ve got video games on a big screen. We have movies that will play. We’ve been given full use of the gym. We have all kinds of options. People will be there, so the kids can just hang out.”

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Missen says volunteers and supervisors are always welcome. It’s a process that includes an application form and security check. Anyone interested in helping out is asked to email [email protected] The group is hoping to have the doors open on the Pit Stop in the first week of July.

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