SIDNEY — Dave Easton, founder of The Lighthouse Project, spoke at the weekly Monday lunch meeting of the Sidney Rotary Club earlier this month at The American Legion.
The Lighthouse Project is an organization that aims to provide a structure where youth can socialize and where responsible adults can help them develop character, improve social skills, and make a safe zone for kids to focus on learning, discovering interests, and doing hands-on activities.
Easton, a Sidney resident, had the idea to start a teen youth center in 1992. That idea began to grow legs in 2006 when he started Lighthouse Enterprise.
“When I was growing up, there was a teen center in town with a dance floor,” Easton said. “There was also a theater, a swimming pool, and a mini golf site that teenagers could occupy their time with. My goal is to bring a place that teens can go to Sidney.”
The objective of the program is to provide a youth center in Sidney that operates on a volunteer basis and provides a space to socialize where they could have positive adult interactions.
Easton’s belief is that there aren’t offerings for youth in the area like there once was and that it is still a great need in this area. He has surveyed local high school students about what they feel their greatest need is and common feedback he received is that area teens would like a place to hang out and interact.
“Kids have a challenge,” Easton said. “They are in the in-between years where social skills and friends are created and they develop interest and talents in between childhood and adult hood; they need a place they can connect with each other.”
Easton’s mission it to provide that for them.
To bring this goal to life, Easton is looking for community support, volunteers, and donations.
The beginning phase is to put on weekend events for teens that are located close to the local schools to make transportation easier. His goal is to then grow the organization into daily after-school programs and secure a regular meeting place as The Lighthouse Venue.
If you would like to be involved in volunteering, joining the committee, or to make a financial contribution, contact Dave Easton directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org.