By CECIL PERGRAM
Hugh and Connie Reed are operating the R & R Christian Youth Center that’s recently opened to the community at 194 Sunset Drive off of Adams Ridge in Clay City.
The center had its first chaperoned lock-in from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 7. The center plans to continue to be open every other Friday throughout the summer from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Reed says he hopes that the youth center will continue to grow in the future and that depending on the response he gets from the community he eventually hopes to have a need to stay open every Friday because of the lack of entertainment for children during the summertime. He believes that if that happens the center would be a wonderful asset to the community.
“On a regular continuous basis there is nothing for the kids to do. We have our festivals and that’s fine but if you see a child once a year your not going to have a big positive impact on their life. If your seeing them on a continuous or regular basis hopefully you can make a positive impact on them,” said Reed.
During the event children present received a short lesson about the love of Jesus Christ before participating in other fun activities such as playing ping-pong, volleyball, singing karaoke and more.
The Reeds say that the primary goal of the youth center is to spread the word of Jesus Christ to the youth in Powell County because they believe that the community needs it to combat some of the issues that youngsters are facing in the world today.
“If you talk to people in the community they’ll tell you that drugs are taking over, we’re about Jesus Christ we’re not a drug task force to keep kids off of drugs buts that’s a sideline objective,” said Hugh Reed.
“My wife and I got to hearing people talk and realized that’s there’s a real need in the community for some good clean fun for the kids to do because there’s really nothing for them to do. We’re trying to provide that for them by working through Jesus Christ,” said Reed.
The Reeds had previously worked with the AmVets Post #67 by holding community events for the counties youth.
“They were really good to us over there but the opportunity came up to buy the building on Adams Ridge so my wife and I bought the building and with the help of Albert Combs we renovated the building down to a manageable size from a 8,000 square feet to 1,800 square feet so that’s it big enough to do the activities we wanted to do,” said Reed.
“Albert has been an invaluable resource to us it wouldn’t been done near as quickly without him.” Reed said. “I can’t say enough about the help he has given us. Everybody that donates anything to us is through Jesus Christ just like what my wife and I are doing is through Jesus Christ it’s not us that’s doing it we’re just uplifting his name and that’s what we’re about.”
Reed says that they’ve just got the building to where they can actively start having events to bring kids in and be able to talk to them about the love of Jesus Christ and provide them with good food and quality entertainment.
“Going forward I’ve talked to Lisa Coffey with SPARK and she’s agreed to come up and do some demonstrations about drug prevention.” Reed said. “We’re trying to cover all the aspects with the kids eventually we’ll dwell into the importance of them continuing their education and we’re trying to be a positive influence on children’s lives here.”
“Our primary mission is to show the love of Jesus but we also realize that there is a serious drug problem not just in Powell County but the whole United States. We felt like with our skill set or lack there of that we might be able to influence kids in the age group of 10-to-18 years-old to go on the right path in life,” said Reed.
Reed says that he feels like that he can reach that age group because their old enough to participate in active listening long enough to understand the message and yet still be young enough to have not been tarnished by life. He says that if they’re on the fence of going down the right or wrong path in their life that he can be a positive influence to show them the right way to live or how to conduct themselves.
Reed says that most of equipment that the center is using has been donated through Jesus Christ working through individuals in the community. John and Gail Brewer donated the grill that the center uses to cookout for the children. Donny and Kathy Catron donated the karaoke machine. Albert and Exia Combs helped donate the disc jockey sound equipment.
If anybody in the community has items that they would like to donate in support of the youth center or if anyone is interested in more information about R & R Youth Center they can contact Connie or Hugh Reed at 606-481-2948.
If any parents are interested in having their children participate in the activities at the youth center and don’t have transportation to come to the center they can also contact the Reeds and they say they’ll make sure that transportation will be provided to get them to the center.