New Hillyard gym aims to keep teenagers active

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 9 at 9:00 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--Spokane's Hillyard neighborhood will soon have a new spot for teens to say active.
   
The non-profit Youth for Christ and Ziggy's Building Materials teamed up to build a new recreation center.

Youth for Christ has worked with kids between the ages of ten and 19 for years in Hillyard and the West Central neighborhood. They said they can only do so much without a gym to keep the kids active after school.

A skate park helps keep kids busy during the summer and likely keeps them away from trouble. The park does not do much good in the winter months.

"We've had a long presence in the Hillyard community and have a real interest in the schools and the children that come out of that community," said  Vern Ziegler with Ziggy's Building Materials.

The Ziegler family decided to team up with Youth for Christ to build a new gym. The cost of the project is more than $150,000. It is paid for by Ziggy's, Youth for Christ and outside donations.

"So to have another gymnasium in the neighborhood with specific, loving, caring adults being available to kids to build relationships with them, we think is a huge asset for the community," said Ziegler.

Youth for Christ works with more than 2,000 kids each year in two locations across Spokane. They said having resources helps them make a personal connection with each kid.

"Youth For Christ is all about having mentoring relationships and with at-risk youth and so we want to have as many shared experiences with these youth as we possibly can," said Youth for Christ Executive Director Tom Davis.

The Ziegler family has had a connection to the area since the 1930s and are always looking for opportunities to pay it forward.

"If you're going to take out of the community, if you're going to make your living in the community, our whole family has prospered from the Hillyard community, you owe something back into the community," said Ziegler.

The new gym should be finished in late December. Youth for Christ will still need a floor for the court and two basketball hoops.

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