December 24, 2014

Main Place group plans new youth programs

As published in The Erin Advocate

The Main Place Optimist Club of Erin is organizing a renewed effort to provide social and recreational activities for local youth.

Mary Shields and Kevin MacPherson from the group appeared as a delegation at the December 16 meeting of Town Council to provide an update and seek ongoing support.

The extensive activities of Main Place and Erin Hoops were severely curtailed last year after the death of organizer Patrick Suessmuth, and the deterioration of the old public school building to an unusable condition.

“We’re finalizing our incorporation and hoping to run a March Break Camp,” said Shields. “We are determined to fill that void. We really can’t have our youth with no place to go outside of school, because they will start looking for their own fun, and that won’t be good.”

They will be arranging activities at new locations. Being an Optimist Club provides them with essential liability insurance.

“I worked 10 years with Pat, and we had 100 kids a week for summer camps,” said MacPherson. “It was a really good thing.”

Councillor John Brennan said, “You have a great deal of dedication and courage – you are treading in the footsteps of a giant.”

Councillor Matt Sammut said, “What you are doing is outstanding. It is important that youth have things to do, especially some of the economically challenged families. I hope we’ll be able to support in different ways.”

Mayor Al Alls said that some funding for the group might be available through East Wellington Community Services.