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Lewisboro Residents Gather In Support Of Youth Center

Gary Altheim, founder of GDS, has been advocating the need for a Lewisboro Youth Center.
Gary Altheim, founder of GDS, has been advocating the need for a Lewisboro Youth Center. Photo Credit: GDS Westchester

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – An open meeting of Growth and Development Services (GDS), a group working to bring a Youth Center to the town of Lewisboro, will be held on Thursday, May 16, to discuss and implement plans for a forthcoming fundraiser.

“There is a tremendous need here,” said South Salem’s Dr. Gary Altheim, a clinical psychologist and founder/CEO of GDS. “There is no place for our teens to go after school. New Canaan, Wilton and Ridgefield all have youth centers. But Lewisboro kids are hanging out in the park and at the deli.”

For the past two years, Altheim has been gathering information in support of the project. Space is not an issue, he said.  What is needed is funding and community perseverance. At this point, there is a business plan in place, he said, and the beginning of an Advisory Council. “A lot of people say they want to do it – now we have to do it.”

GDS, founded in 1996, is a not-for-profit organization, focused on giving challenged teenagers opportunities to reach their potentials. Its programs are broad and varied and include individual, family and group counseling, advocacy and referral, caregiver support, pet-assisted therapy and day/overnight retreats.

Thursday’s meeting will be held at The Willows at Oakridge Commons on Route 124 in Vista, starting at 7:30 p.m. and ending about 9 p.m. Peripheral items on the agenda include discussions of potential program partners, short and long term goals, projected expenses and revenue and action plans.

The fundraiser for the proposed Youth Center will be held at The Willows on Thursday, June 13. Music will be provided pro bono by The Blues Corruption. The Willows is providing space without charge as well.

To RSVP for the meeting on Thursday, May 16, or for further information, contact GDS@excelGDS.org.

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