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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fallout Teen center offers weekend fun for students

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Friends Perla Arias, Brooke Sullivan and Courtney Seagraves pose for a photo at a sock hop-themed event, while Chase Bobier looks on.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
The dream has been in the heart of Kathy Gregory for 25 years now, and became a reality when the Fallout Teen Center opened for the first time last year. Since then, more than 150 local students have passed through the doors.

For years, the perennial cry of teen students has been, "There's nothing to do in this town," and the Fallout Teen Center hopes to satisfy -- serving as a safe place to play games, eat and hang out with friends on a weekend -- all while under adult supervision.

Quest begins

For teacher Kathy Gregory, the Fallout Teen Center is the realization of a dream 25 years in the making.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
A group of concerned citizens had founded Bridge of Hope, a non-profit established for the purpose of opening a teen center. The group was approved in 2007, and bolstered when Youth Leadership Bedford approached Gregory in 2010 expressing interest in a teen center.

A lease was secured at the Elm Street location, and after lots of volunteer hours invested in cleaning and updating the space, Fallout opened on Feb. 19, 2011 with a Battle of the Bands.

"Everyone has been encouraging and agrees that we have a need in our county," said Gregory, a long-time local teacher who works at Community High School.

Many local churches have donated items, their time, talents and money toward the center's growth. "Our goal is for every Christian church to adopt a weekend," Gregory said. "Youth ministers, volunteers who enjoy working with young people are more than welcome to join us."

Getting involved

All volunteers must be willing to undergo a background check.

On a student's first visit, a parent must fill out a permission slip. Then students are issued a free photo ID for use on subsequent trips to the center. The center's rules require appropriate dress and respect for others.

No tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs or weapons are allowed and no outside food or drink may be brought into the facility. The center also prohibits public displays of affection, fighting, horseplay and profanity.

Fallout's goal "is to impart God's word and His power by providing hope in a safe and loving environment."

Lookimg ahead

Courtney Seagraves shows off her poodle skirt while at the center.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
"Even though it's been in our heads and hearts, we are still in the baby stage," said Gregory, when speaking of long-term goals for the Center. As the center grows, Fallout hopes to offer tutoring assistance - and even summer hours.

Funding to date has been provided by donations and grants, and the center hopes this year to establish seed donations to provide a steady flow of operating cash, "If 200 people gave $10 a month ... " trailed Gregory.

The Teen Center Benefit Bass Tournament will be held on May 26, with registration beginning at 5:30 a.m. in Normandy at the Barton Springs Ramp. For more information about the center or the tournament, contact Gregory at kathy.r.gregory@gmail.com.

Friends Perla Arias, Brooke Sullivan and Courtney Seagraves pose for a photo at a Sock-hop themed event, while Chase Bobier looks on. See Additional photos on page 5B.

3 - 4 - Even young Aiden Waggoner gets into the act, shown here with his aunt Brooke Sullivan.

5 - Jennifer Sanders and Raymond Augustus enjoy hanging out at the Fallout center.

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Congratulations to a hard working group of folks. Now are young people can help make it a success by participating.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 18, 2012, at 6:47 AM

Anyone remember "The Green Door"?..............

-- Posted by caligal on Tue, Mar 20, 2012, at 5:37 PM

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