The Hub, the 5,400-square-foot community center where teenagers can relax is not only set to return with an open house Friday, Sept. 14, but it also has a chance to win a $250,000 grant from the nationwide Chase Bank Grant initiative.
The organization's 27-year-old president and director, Dan Stinnett, is fully aware that he faces a mountain of competition from other well-intentioned non-profit organizations that reach out to serve others, but he remains hopeful.
Because this popular hangout is both a healthy place and it's well-supervised, it has gained support from churches, schools and governmental agencies in the Lincoln-Way region. The Hub was nominated as among the 196 charities eligible for the $250,000 grant from the Chase Bank Grant initiative.
Stinnett said, "The Hub has a chance to win up to $250,000 in the Chase Community Giving's latest Giveaway."
He's asking the community for its support and outreach to friends all over the country to cast a vote for The Hub "to help make a difference in the lives of thousands of young people in our community.
"This could be a real game changer for The Hub," he said.
How Do You Vote?
The voting runs until Sept. 19. Anyone with a Facebook account or a Chase Bank account is eligible to vote. Go to The Hub website and follow the links to vote for the community center.
"Of course, we'll need lots of votes to win the grand prize. That means we're going to need the entire community's help." Stinnett said, adding that supporters need to spread the word to family, friends and co-workers.
For The Hub, vote-getting is important even if the center doesn't win the main grant. The Hub is working hard, Stinnett said, to win the quarter of a million dollars. However, there are other prizes for top vote-getters, including the following:
- 10 available $100,000 prizes
- 35 available $50,000 prizes
- 50 available $25,000 prizes
- 100 available $10,000 prizes
What The Hub Means to One Teen
For New Lenox's Nick Kemp-Bystrzycki, an 18-year-old freshman at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, The Hub worked like a healing salve over an emotional wound. He recalled how he'd been attempting to grapple alone with the loss of his little brother because of illness. Then the death in the family took a deeper toll; his parents got divorced.
Two years ago, Kemp-Bystrzycki said he started coming to The Hub. It's the place where he found acceptance and formed friendships. The Hub and Stinnett were there when Kemp-Bystrzycki needed a helping hand. It was a place where Kemp-Bystrzycki could simply let loose of the problems that plagued his mind.
"Without it, I really would have gone down the wrong path," he sad. Feeling alone, frustrated, sad, angry and confused, Kemp-Bystrazycki added that he could smile again while watching the bands play. He could talk and laugh with kids, play video games or just hangout.
"I met my closest friends there," he said. "I got to know Dan, too. He's helped me a lot. He was there when I needed him."
At The Hub, he said, "I'm just happy to be there. You see great people, and it's nice to talk to people there."
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