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Memorial Recreation Center to hold banquet

July 19, 2000

Memorial Recreation Center to hold banquet



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


For 22 years, the Memorial Recreation Center has been a place where children of the Jonathan Street community could go for after-school activities, tutoring programs, games and community-sponsored events.

An open house and awards banquet will be held there Friday to pay tribute to the employees and volunteers who help keep the center running.

The center serves about 50 children a week in the winter and 100 a week during the summer months, said Director Ruth Ann Monroe.

"The center is good for the community. The children need a place to go" for constructive activities, she said.

The celebration will continue Saturday with an evening of games, music, food, karate demonstrations and vendors at Wheaton Park on North Street.

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Memorial Recreation Center is "in the heart of the community," said resident Tracy Brown. She said the center's central location makes it convenient for youth to walk there. She said her daughter participated in many activities at the center while growing up.

Monroe has been associated with the recreation center since it opened. Starting out as a volunteer, she was one of a group of community residents who formed Memorial Recreation Center Inc.

The building that houses Memorial Recreation Center was built as a school for area black students, and classes were held there until the late 1940s, when classes were moved to North Street School, she said.

The building was then converted into a YMCA and a pool was added, she said.

The Head Start program was housed in the building, which became Memorial Recreation Center in 1978, she said.

The first floor of the two-story building contains offices, a game room, television room and tables.

The second story has a computer room, kitchen and multi-purpose room that is used for large activities and is rented out for community events.

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