SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Tonight we feature The Rubonia Community Center , as a Great Place to Call Home. The Rubonia Community Center was first established in the 1970s. It closed down for several years a while back because Manatee County couldn't find a company to run it. That left a huge hole in the community. Rubonia went on a campaign to get it reopened.
Morris Goff, Volunteer Program Coordinator says, "We here in Rubonia said it's here for us let us run it. So finally Manatee County agreed to do it."
Now the Center is the heart of the community.
Morris says, "The once little sleepy community has awakened."
The entire staff is made up of volunteers from the Rubonia. The center is busy constantly with programs for all ages.
Morris says, 'For the seniors we have a daily program of exercise, we have knitting, nutrition, arts and crafts classes."
The aim is to keep the seniors from sitting home alone and idol, to keep them involved in the community.
Mary Brown, Chair of the Rubonia Community Association says, "The Center is a place away from home where they can come spend time, and visit with neighbors.
And there is information on health issues and things like social security and Medicare."
For students, the Center is like a second home.
Youth Coordinator, Derrick L. Randall says, "We start the day off with students coming in to wait for the bus to go to school. We feed them a breakfast. And after school the bus drops them off here. This is a safe place for them."
And they can stay here until their parents arrive home after work.
Tutors and counselors are available
Derrick says, "We teach them leadership. we also teach them skills. And they do a lot of community service work, especially helping the elders of the community. We teach them to be leaders."
They also have all sorts sports and fun activities
Morris says, "We have Karate, and dance classes for young adults and we have dances for them every Tuesday night."
There is also a library, pool tables, games and computers.
Mary says, "What the Center means to the community is unity. It helps us bring everybody together and keeps them together."