Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Events YOU Don't Want to Miss

We have some exciting events planned in the near future...

11/17: Teen Advisory Meeting 7-8:30pm - Any Teen in 8th-12th who is interested in planning the events at the Center is invited to come to the meeting and be part of the team.

11/17: Line Dancing for adults 7-9pm $5pp

11/18: Adult Advisory Meeting 7-8pm - Any Adult interested in planning and participating in the events and programs at the Center and or joining any other committees we have set up to operate the center is invited to come to the meeting and be part of the team.

11/19: OPEN HOUSE on Friday November 19 from 7-9 pm - Fun for the whole family - Santa will be at the Center to read stories, and hot cocoa and cookies will be served. All the Center games and amenities will be available for all guests to play. This is a great opportunity for parents to see what goes on at the Center.

11/20: Robotix Club is going on a Field Trip to MO on Saturday. Let us know if you are interested in joining this club. Open to teens 11-18

11/27: Green Gift Bazaar 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Buy your friends & family a gift this holiday season that is locally made and eco-friendly! No entry fee to shop. Kids make a FREE take-home Holiday Nature Craft.

To see all events view our: Complete Calendar

November Dance ~ Open Mic Night

Was a Success!

The Underground stage was booming with bands and budding artists of all ages all evening long.

The River Bend Community certainly boasts musical talent! It sure was fun to have some of them converge on the Community Center Stage.

And some teens mingled around, played the video games, billiards and other games too. Did you know we now offer even more game systems like Xbox Kinect and Play Station Move?

The Main dancefloor and DJ was hopping as well.

If you have heard of the Center but haven't made it by, it is time you came to a dance and joined in the fun. Make sure to bring your friends with ~ unless you just like making them jealous!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BOO! Halloween is coming!

The Riverbender.com Community Center wants to invite you to a couple of our Halloween events!

On Friday October 22 (Yes 2 days away), we will be holding our first ever Halloween Dance Party! We will have costume contests and activities. The center will be open to all attendees. The middle school times are 6-8:30 pm and the high school times are 9-11:30 pm. It will be frightfully fun!

And for FAMILIES! We have a family Halloween Party for all before the parade on October 30 from 5-8:30. Now children of all ages can enjoy the fun and games of the Center. Remember families that play together stay together! After you play, just walk down the block to see the parade. Homemade chili & chili dogs will be available for purchase.

Back to work on the Center

We have come a long way in the past few months setting up committees, events and programming as well as adding games and features to the center.

In April we opened our cafe and have hosted several events including MCHS After Prom, a Spaghetti Dinner, an Annual Corporate event and had the Cafe open for many dances that we have held over the past few months.

During the summer we held events like theater camp, chess club and even a jazz concert and Back to School Bash. All have been very well received and provided much entertainment for young and old alike.

Our membership drive in September was a huge success. Members will have lower entrance fees and be invited to exclusive events. Consider becoming a member today.

The Center is developing programs that teach good financial practices and healthy lifestyles and a Student Film Festival is planned. We are starting to offer clubs like Junior Achievement and Robotix, and Mock Trial Team, and an Investment Club where students can try to outsmart the stock market and each other!

Our main events are our monthly "dances". You can see on the calendar all the dates set up to hold dances. All the amenities of the center are available during the dances, so if you're not up for dancing, there are lots of other activities.

Isn't it time you came by and checked it out??!!!

Back to the Blog

Well what happens when you decide to try to win a grant from Pepsi??? Your life becomes consumed with voting and promoting. No time for blogging. So we are very far behind here. We voted throughout the months of March April and May. We did very well, as we ended up in 4th place each time competing against projects from across the country, some nationwide and many from communities much larger than ours.

We decided to pull our entry from the running and focus our efforts on the center and other means of financial support.

We thank all of you for your support during that voting period. We saw what this small town could do if they put their minds toward it. The Alton Park and Rec, Alton High School and Sts. Peter and Paul School did win their grants.

We will try again in the coming months and will ask for your support again. We can do it if we try! For now, back to work on the center!

Monday, March 1, 2010

VOTE NOW to bring $250,000 to ALTON!!!


It has come to our attention that some of you still don't know what the Teen Center is all about! READ ON>>>>

The Teen center is for High School and Middle School students who want a fun place to hang out! So far here is what is what we are planning to offer:

• A Main Stage for bands to perform or DJjs to MC
• Wood dance floor - very upscale - no vinyl here!
• A Movie Theater - yes the only one in Alton• Gaming Stations - Wii, XBox and PlayStation3 all projected life size on the wall!
• Pinball, Foosball, Pop-a-Shot and ping pong
• 2 Brand new billiards tables
• The Underground - another stage which will be stocked with instruments and electronics so your band can rehearse, have a jam session for friends or even record a CD! This is also a great performing arts space.
• The Art Space - for the creative minded
• A Lounge / Teen Library for quieter time - TV, Books, Magazines, Computer stations, Board games, etc.
• Internet Cafe - surf the web while you wait for your food!

This is a beautiful, state of the art facility. No detail has been left out. No corners have been cut. The community wants to give this to you - that is why they are donating equipment and construction material, furnishings and labor. Spread the word and make sure you and all your friends vote every day. It's important. $250,000 important!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking Good!

There is more progress on The Center each day.

Just hours after the the last meeting we posted, John and his Dad left for Atlanta to pick up restaurant booths for the cafe. "Why Atlanta?" you ask. The answer is simple and explains a lot about our operations. It was the best deal we could find. (in the entire nation!)

Very much research is done to be sure we have found the most value for our money ~ that doesn't always mean the cheapest ~ this will be a quality environment ~ upscale even. All donations to the center will be spent very wisely. And in fact, to date not very much has been spent with all the non-cash donations that have come in.

CARPET in the movie Theater!

This is such wonderful news ~ finish work in some of the areas has begun! A HUGE thank you to Ed Agles for donating the carpet for this room (and others) and Brian Scheffel from Straight Arrow Flooring and Kevin Neely from Direct Floors for personally installing the carpet at no charge! I'm telling ya ~ the community is really coming together to make this happen.

UPDATE: In a prior post we noted that Alton Refrigeration was going to donate the electronics for the Movie Theater ~ This has changed. They are going to furnish the Theater with the seating and tables! And Liberty Bank has presented a cash donation that will be used to cover the costs of the Theater sound system!


Here is some very nice furniture that was donated by Alton Refrigeration.

Here is some equipment that was donated:

The Gaming Stations were bought with a cash donation from Alton Memorial ~ notice the Wii FIT!!!

Richard Baird and his wife, Theresa O'Connor fixed up our glass displays to show off our shining stars of The Center ~ our sponsors who have made many many donations ~

If this doesn't say SHOP LOCAL ~ I don't know what does!!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Team Depot ~ Building CommUnity!

Our sincere appreciation to Team Depot! They have been painting since 9:30 am in the Underground Music Room, the Art Space and the hallways.

How wonderful of them to volunteer their time for our Center!

It may look quite garish but this green is the perfect shade for our green screen! When bands play for a video camera we can add any background ~ they can have a concert at Madison Square Garden, Gordon Moore Park or even under the sea!

Six volunteers came in to help out.


My only question is how can they paint all of that and not be covered in paint!?!? Nice Job ALL!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Construction ~ More Donations!

Well here's the update ~ 2 weeks later! The whole community keeps rallying around the Community Center!

The pool tables came in ~ Aren't they gorgeous? Thanks Atlantis Pools!

Workers come in every day finishing drywall, installing can light fixtures, measuring for carpet, tearing out unused equipment, more security cameras (thanks Ron!), painting and building shelves. We're trying hard to compile the number of hours put in by volunteers ~ and it's hard because we haven't kept good records ~ but we have this blog and FB and some notes on paper ~ But between all the volunteers' hours over the last 3 months there are hundreds.

[pic: Ron & Angie]
We received our largest Cash donation to date from Liberty Bank tonight at our Open House Meeting. They are very generous ~ and we promised them that the money would be used very wisely as we are such penny pinchers! We want the best for the kids !~ but we are committed to finding the best deal so the money goes a long way.

BIG meeting tonight was a success. We had a great turnout. We gave tours, Caitlyn brought goodies again ~ 4 pans of cakes and brownies ~ ok her Mom, Misty, did the cooking this time! ~ and we talked about the grants Pepsi is giving out over the next 20 months. We encouraged everyone to sign up and vote!

YOU also need to vote for the Alton Ideas in the Pepsi Refresh Project EVERY DAY. They will improve the Rock Springs Park Tennis Court & the AHS Tennis Court. We need everyone's help to support projects that IMPROVE OUR COMMUNITY! It's so easy ~ just log in and press the vote button ~ Takes MUCH less time than Facebook! ;)

Find the links to help Alton Park & Rec & Alton High at http://Riverbender.com/VOTE

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January Work - ROLLING!

January was a busy month at the center. The progress is motivating. Every weekend the center was filled with volunteers working on various projects.

This is Arcade Alley:

It was formerly 3 or 4 offices and a hallway. Office walls were torn down, built in cabinets were pulled out, lights were rewired to be on new circuits, walls were re-drywalled, taped and mudded and painted! New drop ceiling was put in - all with materials from the old ceiling. 3 projectors were mounted into ceiling and project life-size games on the new white walls - as you can see in the picture. There is an xbox, wii and Play Station 3. Just a little carpet and trim-work and this room is ready to go.

Wishlist includes cabinets to house gaming stations, couches and coffee tables. Work on this room was done by: Dave Worley, Jerry Mueller, David, Zach and Ben Moehn, Fred Hentrich, Mike, Steven & Thomas Hentrich, Susie Trefny, Andy Hentrich, Sandy Witt, Thomas Sillivan, Matt Wuellner, Wendy, Logan and Morgan Wickenhauser & Ron Tanner. Even Nicholas and Sammy helped out!

The Movie Theater:

This area was also made up of several offices that were torn out. The stadium seating is built and finish work is being done on the walls by volunteers. Hopefully it will be ready for paint in a couple days. Thanks to H2K and Al Manring for their work on this room. Then it will need carpet and finish work. The electronics for the theater are being donated by Alton Refrigeration - they have been so generous in this project. Here are the sample couches they are donating for the theater:

The Dancefloor is complete and the wood floor was donated by Direct Floors. The Main Stage and back wall was built by Jun Construction. It all looks great!

The Old Main Lobby has gone through a major change.
You can see the teller walls have been removed. The marble was used to fill in the columns and the carpet was filled in to match the rest. This is the area where the new pool tables will be going. They will be in tomorrow! They were also generously donated by Atlantis Pools!

Next up The Underground! This is the band room where teens practice without driving their parents crazy! This will be a practice room and also a performance room. For bands wanting to do a set for friends or for the other teens, there will be plenty of space to fill with couches to hang out on. Instruments and amplifiers and electronics all donated by Halpin Music will be available so you don't have to drag your gear over to play. There will be recording equipment for creating your own Cds. This space can also be used for small scale theater performances.

Thanks to our helpers on this room who had to do some demolition, build the stage, and wiring: Dave Worley, Jerry Mueller (got his 10 foot stage!), Byron Birkner, John Hentrich, and Richard Baird.

The Art Room. This room will be a work of art! Right now it is a blank canvas but the palatte is full of color! Sara McGibony has assembled a group working on creating this space. If you are artistic and would like to help with setting up this room, design, materials donations, program ideas, etc., let us know. We are looking for a volunteer to be an ongoing Arts Program Manager.

This is truly going to be a one of a kind place here in Alton. Thanks for all your support!

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