The Post-Journal

Lakewood Youth Center

Last Saturday night was the “Blast Off” of the Lakewood Youth Center with 230 teenagers in attendance at the Lakewood Elementary School, the official meeting place at present.

Mayor Roland C. Rapp of the Village of Lakewood and Jack H. Gustafson, Town of Busti supervisor, appeared before the group in brief opening ceremonies.

The Busti-Lakewood Recreation Commission is providing the guidance and financial aid for the youth center activities. The commission has granted $150 toward equipment for the center and a similar allotment was given to the Busti-Youth Center which officially began its activities in January at the Busti Grange Hall.

George L. Barone Jr. of Lakewood is serving as adult advisor of the Lakewood teen-age project and was instrumental in the establishment of the supervised “Fun Night” activity for the younger set.

The elected teen officials of the Lakewood center are Paul Hedin, president; Linda Shevalier, vice president; Pam Short, secretary; and Dale Robbins, treasurer.

Young adult married couples of the village are serving as chaperones, and members of the Lakewood Police Reserve Unit are donating their services on Saturday nights at the weekly programs.

The Jamesway Discount Center of Lakewood donated a $100 Symphonic stereo record player to the project with Charles Kacsur, manager of the store, making the presentation at Saturday's affair. The WKSN Radio Station donated about 50 records for dancing. A ping-pong table and equipment have been purchased for use at the center.

The music for the opening night was by the Palmarks of Jamestown.

Mr. Barone said in the near future a special of five dance bands will present a “Band Battle” for a youth program. Also included in future programs will be the “Dating Game” where winners will be presented prizes, such as movie tickets, dinner for two at the area restaurants, or a pass for an evening of bowling.

Many exciting experiences are in store for the teenagers, according to Mr. Barone. He explained to the teen group that how long the center is in operation and how it will progress, depends on them. It is their club and their cooperation in all aspects of the project, will determine the future of the added recreational facility, he said.

The “kids” appeared to be having a good time, and they are to be applauded for the responsibility which they have assumed in the new venture.


“Finally, Lakewood has a youth center. It’s such a roll to be able to just go down to the school and dance or goof around or just sit. There’s stuff to do, one dollar for the whole year. It’s really a bargain. And then there’s “lotsa” loud music and food and a warm place to stand around and talk. The kids don’t want a completely planned program; the kind that says “Do this and then you can do that.”

“They like to be able to do things according to the mood they’re in, at the time. The youth center provides freedom for kids to have fun independently if they wish. I think it’s a terrific thing, and it sure it is good of George Barone and everyone else to devote time and effort for us kids. I hope its a real success.”

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.