Family bringing new youth to club to Louisville - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Family bringing new youth to club to Louisville

Larry Simmons Larry Simmons
The former Mackin Boys and Girls Club The former Mackin Boys and Girls Club

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If dreams could have a place to go, for Larry Simmons that place would be 334 North 26th Street. The youth advocate has spent 11 years helping kids. Now he's spending his own money to open a youth club in Portland.

"If we change one kid's life, that child may change two later on in life," Simmons said.

Simmons and his wife, Angela, along with their children, ages 7 and 17, have been working since November to make this possible. The family spends about $4,000 of their own money each month to pay the costs of a lease, lights and water for the building.

"Definitely cut back on doing a lot of things, going out to eat, doing a lot of extra-curricular activities with the family," Simmons said. "We just sat down and came up with a budget to make this work."

In some ways, it is banking on a dream.

"Sometimes I sit back and think, 'how did I get into this?'" said Simmons. "For me and my family, not only are we learning but we are actually teaching other people that this is how life is supposed to be. Regardless of how the economy is, it is helping, maybe not financially, but helping in some way."

The goal is to officially reopen the building by June. It will be named the Mackin Dreams and Possibilities Center for kids.

"The kids need a place like this," said Simmons. "We can kind of see what happens in the news if they don't have it. Somebody's got to come out and save these kids."

Already about 100 kids are using the center, which is officially scheduled to open June 1st. If you'd like to help, the Simmons need everything from volunteers to tutors, computers, books, snacks and school supplies.

A $20,000 check from an anonymous donor came in to save the facility, but we found out Simmons and his wife can't even use the money. The donor wrote the check to the Boys and Girls Club, but the new center is not affiliated with that organization.

If you'd like to help or donate to the Mackin Dreams and Possibilities Center, call 502-291-4086 or send an email to mackincommunity@live.com.

(Copyright 2009 WAVE-TV. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Powered by Frankly