Youth center recognized

Enumclaw Youth and Family Services found itself in the spotlight Friday morning during the 19th annual Valentine Breakfast for it and its counterpart Auburn Youth Resources.

The fundraising breakfast at Auburn’s Grace Lutheran Church drew a record crowd and took time to honor those who make a difference in children’s lives.

Enumclaw’s program was highlighted in a video presentation that started with its roots as a drop-in center in the late 1970s and early 1980s to today.

With a small grant and help from the city of Enumclaw, the youth center, which serves kids ages 8 to 18 Monday through Friday year round, opened its doors in 1980.

In 1983, it began offering counseling and in 1984 moved into a building purchased by the city.

Today, it continues to expand and provide services, reaching up to 60 kids a day, 3,000 visits a year.

A popular addition has been a summer program, which features field trips at no charge to youth.

“It gives me a place to go when I’m feeling down,” was one of the many comments audience members heard from youth who use the center.

Through the years, thanks to community support, Enumclaw Youth and Family Services has also been able to supply students with backpacks at the start of each school year and needy families with Christmas gifts through its annual giving tree program.

The center recently teamed with Enumclaw and Black Diamond Tutoring to provide students with a success program and counseling.

Another highlight for EYFS is the addition of low-income housing through a transfer from King County Housing Authority.

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