By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The idea for a youth center in Belton came to light in 1975 when local businessmen Jerry Brenthem and Roy Wood realized many youths were getting in trouble as a result of a lack of structured activities. An elementary school was home to the first youth center in 1982, and over the years it has grown significantly in both size and attendance. Now, nearly 1,200 students attend BCYC each year, and the success of the organization depends on the support of partners and the community. BCYC is Christ-centered and mission-driven and strives to recognize the potential in all youth.
The United Way Bowl, an organized flag football game between BCYC and Ralph Wilson Recreation Center, took place on Tuesday, November 21, at UMHB.
“The game has been going on for four years and was created by our former athletics director, Les William, and Jeff Stegall, from RWYC. The goal of the game is to raise awareness for United Way,” explained Miranda Lugo, BCYC Director of Enrichment. “Ralph Wilson and Belton Christian both shut down our respective clubs and take all of the kids and staff. We love the friendship and rivalry between our clubs. We share a lot of kids between our two centers, so it’s fun to see old faces and have fun as a big group!”
While coordinating the teams and training can be a challenge, the enjoyment had by children and staff alike is worth the effort.
“We play on the rivalry between Belton and Temple but its nothing but positivity, fun, and good sportsmanship at our game! This year, Ralph Wilson took home the trophy that BCYC had won last year,” stated Lugo. “Every year after the game, the Ralph Wilson staff cook hot dogs and sausage wraps for everyone.”
The Belton Christian Youth Center will be celebrating 36 years of operation next year and will be hosting several fundraisers and special events. Future events, such as Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, featuring ventriloquist and storyteller Megan Bruce, and the return of the Belles of Belton, promise to be unique experiences! For more information about BCYC, how to donate, or their special events, please visit www.beltonyouth.com or call (254) 939-5759.