YMCA of the Highland Lakes raising money for teen center

The YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond in Burnet is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to build a teen center at the facility. The YMCA projects the cost to be about $430,000 and has already raised approximately $240,000. Through donations and fundraisers as well as Casino Night on June 15, officials hope to have enough money to break ground later this year. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

The YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond in Burnet is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to build a teen center at the facility. The YMCA projects the cost to be about $430,000 and has already raised approximately $240,000. Through donations and fundraisers as well as Casino Night on June 15, officials hope to have enough money to break ground later this year. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON

The YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond has half the money it needs to begin construction on a teen center, and officials are making a push to bring in the rest.

“There’s really no place in this town for teens to go or things to do,” said Jennifer Kenson, executive director of the Burnet facility. “We have a lot teens, from (ages) ten to fifteen, who come here and hang out. They have no place else.”

In 2018, the YMCA decided to help solve the problem with a teen center. The center will offer programs and activities but also just be a place teens can “hang out.”

The local YMCA is owned by the city of Burnet but managed and operated by the YMCA of Greater Williamson County.

Henson said city officials are on board with the teen center, which will be built onto the YMCA facility at 1601 U.S. 281 South. The funding, however, falls on the YMCA of the Highland Lakes.

The organization has raised approximately $240,000 of the $430,000 goal.

While people can donate directly to the project, the YMCA of the Highland Lakes is hosting a Casino Night Fundraiser at 6 p.m. June 15 to benefit the teen center.

“All the net proceeds go to the project,” Kenson said.

Tickets for the event are $35 per person or $65 per couple. You can purchase a table for eight for $250. Tickets are available at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes.

As part of the event, the YMCA is selling Salute to Veterans sponsorships. To show appreciation, veterans will have free admission to Casino Night. Helping to make this happen are the sponsorships, which range from $250 to $3,000.

Organizers also need items for a silent auction.

Contact Kenson at jkenson@ymcagwc.org or (512) 756-6180 for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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