San Benito Youth Services awards $2,500 to four local youth groups

San Benito Youth Services gave $2,500 to four local youth
organizations Monday during a special presentation at the San
Benito County Library.
San Benito Youth Services gave $2,500 to four local youth organizations Monday during a special presentation at the San Benito County Library.

The largest recipient was the San Benito Stage Company, which received $1,000 to help launch its summer theater workshop camp for children ages 6 to 12.

Youth Services Director Deborah Steele said the small group exists on fundraisers and donations, but most of the money raised derives from their “Home Town Tours.” But this year the board of directors decided not to have the tours.

“We are a small group (about seven),” said Director Gloria Volosing. “We decided we would go for a holiday party.”

Since 1995, San Benito Youth Services has been contributing to after-school programs, prevention programs for youth at risk and programs for the whole family.

Secretary Jo Wahdan said the board was formed to established the formation of the YMCA of San Benito County.

“We gave birth to the YMCA,” she said.

Youth Services awarded New Harvest Church $600 to help support its two youth programs, the Royal Rangers and the One Way To Go program.

“We teach the kids there is only one direction to take, and that’s the right one,” New Harvest Pastor Manuel Herrera said.

Dolores Villalon, a coordinator for an after-school prevention program at the Hollister Plaza Apartments community site for children ages 6 to 12, accepted $400 for the Hollister Youth Alliance, which supports the site.

“It keeps me very busy,” she smiled. “It’s a lot of work, but we need this program.”

The Youth Alliance was awarded the $400 to fund a special outing for 60 low-income children to the San Benito Stage Company’s performance of “Cinderella.”

Also, the San Benito Prevention Coalition was awarded $500 to send a teen to the annual Teen Conference, which will focus on issues that challenge today’s teens.

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