January 30, 2012 |

Granite Falls resident and family opens youth center

Granite Falls resident Aaron Sallade and his family set out to give the youth of Granite Falls a place to go and stay out of trouble. So the Sallades opened a youth center, paying for everything out of their own pockets.

The 7,000 square foot center opened Monday, December 12 and welcomed in 20 members. The facility offers boxing, Wrestling, racquetball, basketball, an arcade, pool table, open gym, snack center and a computer lab. Sallade hopes to open an art center in the future where volunteers can teach art classes to the children. There is a complete list of activities, programs, amenities and events online.

“My hats off to you and your family and what you have done,” said Granite Falls City Mayor Haroon Saleem.

The Granite Falls Youth Center’s mission is to help youth realize their potential. The programs and activities offered promote leadership, growth, personal and social responsibility. Every child, regardless of gender, race, religion, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive at the newly opened youth center.

There are membership rates for households and individuals. The individual monthly rate is $20 and the yearly rate is $220. The monthly household rate is $50 and the yearly rate is $550. Financial assistance is available for those that cannot afford full membership dues and Sallade says they will never turn away a child because of an inability to pay.

If you want to help send local children to the Granite Falls Youth Center you can donate online at gfyouth.com. There is a list of items needed to help the center online and volunteers are also needed, if you have time and skills to donate please contact Aaron Sallade at 206-293-0446. Granite Falls Youth Center is located one block south of Granite Falls Middle School at 109 South Alder Avenue.

The center is open from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on standard school days and will be open at the same time school gets out during early release days. The center is also open during some school holidays and vacations, and some weekends for events.

You can visit the youth center online at gfyouth.com, friends them on Facebook or reach them at the number listed above.

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