Q & A about The Beacon

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Thanks & Getting Ready for Christmas

     I've been having some trouble with the blog posts showing up unreadable. So this is the 'new look'.
     Some days at the Beacon are slow.  Some days everyone seems to show up at once. Lately we've had a few regulars, like Sean and Dixon, Jacob, Dustin, Athar and Grade 7 & 8 students like Ashoor, Mitch, Jamie, Will and Pat.  As well as regulars, every day there are two or three faces of kids who come less often or who haven't been before. I am now going to ENSS three days a week and will tell  more students about the Beacon.
   Thanksgiving was just celebrated in the USA, and for us too, thanks are due to lots of people.
Yesterday Sharon Reddom came in with a cheque for the Beacon for $100 from the Quinte Queen Rebekah Lodge. This lodge has some members from the Brighton Lodge which existed until a few years ago. These people believe in the Golden Rule and are expected to, “Live peaceably, do good unto all, as we have opportunity and especially to obey the Golden Rule, Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.” 

Also yesterday the Brighton Kin club had me to one of their meetings (and a nice dinner) to hear about what is going on at The Beacon.  The Kin club supports many excellent causes, especially funding for treatment of people with Cystic Fibrosis.  I was able to thank them for their help for a student of mine, Meghan Caldwell, who suffered from C.F. from childhood, and who got a double-lung transplant in grade 5.  The new lungs extended her life for another four years.  Meghan was a feisty and happy soul who brought much to everyone around her.   

Yesterday's 'night crew' of volunteers, led by Susan, decorate for Christmas. 
Last night David filled in for me, and the talented crew of Susan, Frances, Henrietta and David made Christmas decorations, aided by Karlie and Desiree. 

     Thanks for ongoing lunches!  The following volunteers have been providing lunches regularly.  Yesterday it was an excellent spaghetti dinner brought by Joan W. Other lunch makers have been 
Heather V., Gwenda C., Amanda M., Lois E., Jane D., Marg T., Helen W., Lydia F., Barb G., Angie T., Sandra H., Maureen B., George & Lois H., Denise M., Winnie C., Lois H., and Carol L.

   The spirit of helping.  Yesterday one of our ENSS regulars sidled up to me and told me, "I showed ..... how to hold the cue-stick and now he's playing much better"  And it was true. The boy in question was having a terrible time with some basic hand-eye coordination stuff.  With a fellow kid's help he figured out something I'd been trying to show him for weeks.
Don't be a stranger!  Anyone wanting to visit us, we are open 11am - 1pm Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 7-9 pm on Tuesdays.   

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

New Happenings at The Beacon

    Many new things are underway at the Beacon Youth Centre in Brighton Ontario.
    First, we welcome back Ellen and David who are back for the winter season and ready to welcome kids every Friday at the Beacon.  Doors open at 11:00 and stay open until 1:00, just as on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  David is becoming the new director's friend in need, as he rescued Rene and the Beacon from bad stuff twice this week...

Dustin takes aim at the 2 ball
   The next new thing is we are getting some airtime on MYFM as host and newsman James Ferth did an interview about the Beacon and covered the presentation at the latest Council meeting for the Municipality of Brighton.  Volunteers from the Beacon are asking the Municipality of Brighton for finds to keep the Beacon open.

  And a big thank-you to Jeremy DeWeerd from D&K Heating, who came on his own time to make sure the furnace above our heads was working properly.  Jeremy is a new dad and values his time at home, so we are more than grateful to him.

  Also our condolences go out to volunteers Frances and Susan and Carla who all recently lost family members. All three are long term Beacon volunteers who are great listeners and friends to the kids at lunch and Tuesday nights.

  We welcome new volunteers at the Beacon.  Jim comes most Tuesdays and Thursdays and is probably one of the youngest grandfathers you will meet.  Don has also been coming out. Don is a retired shop teacher and has already shown himself to be a handyman and is learning to be a billiards sharpie.  Debbie is a world traveller who is also starting to come in the evenings when she can.
Henrietta and Karen are usually in on Tuesdays

   Most Improved Pool Player, has to be Dixon, who can shoot either handed, and has now improved his skill greatly on the more difficult big slate table.  Sean is learning the trick of shooting leftie when he gets into a tight squeeze along the wrong side of the table.  Sean is harder to beat most days.

   Rene goes back to school!  Rene has returned to high school. (Maybe he has some courses from a long time ago to finish off?)
No.  He's going to host a Writing club at ENSS, and will also help prepare some students for the literacy test.

    Grade 7&8 students are coming during some lunch times. Parent permission forms will be going home in January for another year of warm lunches, games and snacks.

Jacob and Sean enjoy Karen's excellent soup.


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Welcome to The Beacon

Welcome to the Beacon Blog! 

     The Beacon has been a drop-in centre located in the Alice St. plaza (Unit 5) in Brighton, Ontario for almost eight years. During these years, hundreds of youth have benefitted from having a safe and friendly place to visit during some lunch hours and evenings. Students get free lunches, healthy drinks and snacks. They can sit and talk, shoot pool or play air-hockey or foos-ball.

   Adult volunteers provide nutritious food and supervision, are on hand for friendly conversation, games and a listening ear. Special events and activities have also been held during summer months and on some weekends.

    We at The Beacon have seen many youths grow and mature over the years.  Some have become responsible leaders. 

Long-time volunteer Elisabeth is
usually serving somebody food...


   So where did the Beacon come from? The concept originated out of meetings between the Brighton Municipal Council and local churches. Kids needed a safe place to hang out. Youth Unlimited was asked to manage the Beacon. (Youth Unlimited was formerly called Youth For Christ, and they already had a presence in town, with events and drop-in centres organized by Daryl Stogryn.
Youth Unlimited provides leadership that is not associated with any one church or denomination. Leaders for Youth Unlimited are required to demonstrate and maintain high moral standards as an example to our youth. Their philosophy is to welcome all youth, equally and without regard to faith or religious background, and encourage them to achieve their full potential and grow spiritually.  Youth visitors are expected to respect the facility, respect themselves and respect each other.  

   For many years Andrew Fortier was the full-time Director and made lasting connections with hundreds of youth. As the new (part-time) Program Director I am trying to keep things going at the Beacon and as Y.U. works in the community.  Together with our new Executive Director, Jonathan Patrick, we have begun to connect with the leaders in the local schools and the OPP.   

    If you are a supporter, a parent, a teacher or just curious, drop in on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 11:00 - 1:00 or Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Hours may change.

  To learn more about Northumberland Youth Unlimited, go to : http://www.nyfc.org/

Rene Schmidt