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Sunnyside's Promise details programs it offered at community center this summer

The city has given Sunnyside's Promise more than $55,000 for operations, as well as for operating the community center this year.

To show the city council how those funds are being put to use, Director Mark Baysinger on Monday night presented a slide show.

He said it was a pleasure to demonstrate to council the funds are being used wisely.

This summer, Sunnyside's Promise received grant funding to further the efforts of serving the community members using the community center.

One of the grants was for a health and fitness program. The funds were awarded by the University of Washington. More than 50 youngsters participate in the program three days each week.

More than 1,900 community members have used the community center for its regularly scheduled programs, including dance and cooking classes, as well as basketball and other activities.

This summer more than 3,600 lunches were served at the community center in cooperation with the Sunnyside School District.

Sunnyside's Promise has hosted a CSI camp and a water week event.

Water week, said Baysinger, included several water activities.

A 3-on-3 basketball tournament was among the activities at the community center this summer. Baysinger said 50 youngsters participated in the tournament and more than 200 community members were present for the tournament.

"We try to be creative with arts and crafts," said Baysinger, noting photographs of youngsters learning to decorate gourds at one event.

Sunnyside's Promise has also been working on providing educational activities. Offered at the community center is a credit retrieval program for students seeking to make up high school credits.

"We were granted secondary education service provider status by OSPI," Baysinger said, crediting Sunnyside Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole for helping Sunnyside's Promise receive the approval.

"We try to bring as many opportunities as we can to serve the kids," said Baysinger.

He said there have been several camps at the community center this summer and activities available to the community continue to grow.

Each of the programs offered to the community, said Baysinger, helps grow and mold mentors, as well.

He said there are high school students volunteering to help with programs, as well as paid volunteers. The paid volunteers are all available because of grant funding acquired for the programs offered to the community.

Councilman Tom Gehlen said, "I think it really shows you care about our youth and the community."

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock agreed and said she believes Sunnyside's Promise has "come a long way."

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