LAKEFIELD — After months of renovations and thousands of dollars in donations, Lakefield Youth Unlimited will host the grand opening of its new home next month.
On Aug. 11, the non-profit Christian organization is welcoming community members to the new Lakefield Youth Unlimited (LYU) Barn, located at 25 Bridge St in the village, for a day of free, family-friendly events celebrating the milestone.
The new space is located in the former Tribal Voices store — a 4,400-square-foot, red-roofed building — which LYU purchased three years ago through a no-payment, no-interest loan from a community partner.
LYU, which has been operating for 19 years, is one of five local “satellite” branches operating under the auspices of Kawartha Youth for Christ. LYU works with local businesses, churches and schools to serve the needs of young people and their families in and around Lakefield by delivering a variety of programs.
Financial contributions from the community made it possible for the organization to carry out the required renovations at the barn.
“We were also blessed to have over 50 volunteers put in close to 5,000 hours of work toward demolition, planning, framing, dry-walling, mudding, painting, cleanup, moving offices, decorating and organizing the over 4,000 square foot building,” states a press release from Lakefield satellite director Chris Jones and Sarah Bolton, director of operations at the Kawartha main office.
“The opening of the Barn puts LYU in a position to use this facility to develop programming to meet physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of youth, while teaching skills, using resources and people within (Lakefield),” Jones and Bolton added.
The grand opening will feature axe throwing, fair games, barbecued grub from chef Brian Henry of Angle Iron Kitchen and a range of on-site community organizations at an information tent. Non-perishable food items will be collected by the Lakefield Community Food Bank.
Since October of last year, LYU has been renting out two office suites to other non-profit and community organizations in the area as a way of keeping the new barn financially sustainable.
LYU is currently in the process of hiring more staff to continue to serve young people with new programming, as the organization has previously done with programs such as Gym Night, Courageous Kids and Kindness Club.
Festivities will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m., followed by facility tours at 4:15. The barbecue and fair games will run from 5 to 7 p.m.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at email@example.com.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner