The Rec Room centre for youth and seniors opens in Petrolia

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Thera Wagner and Mayor John McCharles at the opening of The Rec Room in April. Pam Wright Photo

Thera Wagner’s wish for Petrolia’s youth has come true with the official opening of the Rec Room.
The youth and seniors’ centre is at the corner of Robert and Centre Streets. The blue house will now be open to young people and seniors’ for activities and ‘hanging out.’
Wagner, who is the program coordinator at the Oil Heritage District Community Centre, says she’s had the idea of a youth centre percolating since 2006.
“Youth are hard to program for,” Wagner notes. “They want to hang with buddies… this is a place for them to meet and maybe make new friends.”
Dave Menzies, the town’s Director of Community Services, says the centre will provide a safe, supervised place for the youth.
“There will always be someone here to guide them,” Menzies explains.
Programming for the older generation is offered at the Rec Room as well.
Games, cards, crafts and classes will be available during the day.
“It’s a way to help with the loneliness seniors face,” Menzies explains, “by stimulating mind and body.”
The town has been working on the project for the past three months, sprucing up the interior with fresh paint and donated electronics and furnishings.
A number of donations and groups were recognized Monday for helping the Rec Room get off the ground, including a $10,000 donation from Mike and Maxine Fiddick of Fiddicks Nursing Home.
Menzies says the town is also expecting to receive a government grant for seniors’ programming.
The annual cost for Rec Room membership is $30 at the OHDCC. About 12 people have already signed up.
Funding is available for young people who can’t afford it.

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