The teens on “Happy Days” had Arnold’s Drive In. Brandon, Dylan, Kelly and the rest of the “Beverly Hills 90210” gang gathered at The Peach Pit. On “The OC”, the kids hung out at The Pier Diner.
Those are all fictional shows, of course, but the reality in Nezperce is that teens have never had a consistent hang out. Mark and Shiloh Hand are striving to change that.
The Hands have put their time, talents and resources to work transforming the old ambulance shed next to the Legion Hall into the Cornerstone Teen Center, which they envision as a place for teens to chill between school and activities, watch movies, play games and much more. Ideally, Shiloh said, even a little homework would get done at the teen center.
“It’s really meant to be ... a home away from home,” Mark said.
The Hands are working to ensure Cornerstone is a clean, safe, free place for teens to gather.
I want moms, when they walk through the door, to think “this is a place I want my kids to hang out,” Mark said.
Cornerstone will always have an adult present, but the teens will largely have the run of the place. They will be able to use the kitchen and other amenities, such as wifi, televisions, a foosball table and much more, at no charge.
“Everything’s free for the kids,” Mark said.
Grants are helping cover the construction costs. Mark is spearheading the construction, getting help from friends and people the couple have met through their church. Marc Fischer, a student at Nezperce High School, also has been working on the building.
“If you need someone to help you out, Marc’s your guy,” Mark Hand said.
Shawn and Dana Tiegs of Nezperce and a couple from Nevada - Eric and Joleen Guddat - are, along with the Hands, on the Cornerstone Teen Center board.
The Hands hope to win some more grant money to cover month-to-month expenses, which they estimate will be fairly low. A US Department of Agriculture program will help with the cost of food. Donations are expected to cover the remaining expenses. Before asking for donations, however, Mark wants Cornerstone up and running, so people can see what they’re supporting.
When will that be? The Hands are aiming to open Cornerstone toward the end of summer.
Learn more about the Cornerstone Teen Center.
The Nezperce City Council announced at the Arbor Day BBQ on May 2 that Rosalea Figgins is the 2018 Volunteer of the Year. Rosalea volunteers at the Nezperce Community Library, The Corner Cupboard food bank and for various fund-raisers throughout the year. Rosalea received a plaque and a tree of her choice - she opted for a white flowering crab tree - which was planted in her yard. Rosalea’s name will be added to the Volunteer of the Year plaque at City Hall.
The Community Yard Sale, Friends of the Library book sale and the FFA Plant Sale will be held Saturday, May 11. Maps for the yard sale will be available at City Hall on Friday and at The Only Store on Saturday.
The Nezperce FFA’s annual plant sale will be held at the greenhouse on the school campus starting at 8 a.m. and running until 1 p.m. or while the plants last, whichever comes first. Twelve-inch hanging baskets will be sold for $20, while tomato and pepper plants are $1 each. Petunias, geraniums, dianthus, ornamental grass, juncus twister, marigolds, sweet pea, Walla Walla sweet onions, calibrachoa, coleus, verbena, chives, basil and more also will be available.
The money raised helps FFA members attend state and national FFA events throughout the year. The FFA members would like to thank everyone for their support.