Mayor Goes to 'Extremes' to Save Teen Center
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Local politician camps out in cold to raise money WYOMING, Minn., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayor Sheldon Anderson vows to stay outside in the freezing cold until he can guarantee teenagers in Wyoming and surrounding cities will have a place to go inside after school. Anderson will camp out on the roof of the Wyoming City Hall until he raises $35,000. All the proceeds will go toward keeping the financially strapped Forest Lake Teen Center open and operating. The five-year-old center is a free, supervised, drop-in facility that provides educational and enrichment programs for middle school students. "It may be crazy," said Anderson about what he's calling an Extreme Fundraiser. "But what's really crazy is shutting down a center that has a proven track record of keeping kids out of trouble and on the right track." Anderson will begin his camp-out on Saturday, February 2nd at 12 noon at the Wyoming City Hall (located at 26885 Forest Blvd., Wyoming, MN 55092). City Maintenance workers will pitch his tent on Friday, February 1st. According to the National Weather Service, these dates fall within the time frame of Minnesota's most extreme winter weather conditions. Anderson, who will update the public daily on his fundraising blog, http://www.extremefundraising.blogspot.com/, hopes the freezing temperatures will encourage people to donate quickly to the center, which currently cannot keep up with operating costs. At least $20,000 is needed annually to run the center weekdays all year long. It relies solely on grants and donations since it does not charge a participation fee. The City of Wyoming and Wyoming Township stepped in and saved the center last summer with donations totaling nearly $10,000. Anderson recently asked city council members from surrounding communities to help keep it open this school year and next. But he's now resorting to this extreme fundraising effort. "When I was a kid, I needed a place like this," said Anderson, who dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. "I want to make sure other kids have the opportunity I didn't." FOREST LAKE TEEN CENTER FACTS -- Opened in 2002 -- Operated by Forest Lake Schools Community Education Youth Development Program -- Serves 7th-9th graders between the hours of 2:15 and 5:30 pm Monday - Friday Note: Justice Department statistics show the hours from 3pm-6pm are prime times for problems if kids are unsupervised and unengaged in organized activities. SOURCE Mayor of Wyoming Sheldon Anderson of Mayor of Wyoming, +1-651-755-4190
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