By KYLE WHITNEY
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE - Throughout much of the summer, Glory Rice spends her Tuesday evenings tie-dying a shirt with a group of other teens.
Top, Katherine Kitzman plays the ring toss game at Teen Tuesdays. Daisy Nelson recieves a door prize. (Journal file photos by Kyle Whitney)
"Every time I come, I tie-dye," Rice said during this week's Teen Tuesday event, which took place at Ishpeming's Trinity Lutheran Church. Rice has been attending the weekly summer event for more than a year.
"I really enjoy having all the different people come, meeting new people and just getting together and having clean fun," she said.
The event, which typically draws between 30 and 50 teens, is a great way to meet new people, according to Rice.
"I don't know half of the people here right now," she said. "It's pretty cool.
"It's something to do outside of the house."
Initially started as a program through juvenile court, Teen Tuesdays was taken over by Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan in 2007.
"It's just an opportunity for kids in the area - anywhere in Marquette County - to have substance-free fun," said Tami Boal, TFH volunteer coordinator. "It's something for the kids to do between 7 and 9 that will hopefully keep them out of trouble and have a positive impact on them."
While at the event, which takes place in a different location in the county each week, the teens play games and do arts and crafts and are given an opportunity to win small prizes. At the year-end event at Sawyer, a BMX bike and a longboard will be raffled off.
Keanu Wood, 15, said she most enjoys the crafts. And though she has only attended three or four of the events, she knew many of the kids doing activities with her.
"Maybe half of them I knew, and the rest of them were kids from the neighborhood," she said. "That's what it's basically about. Teens getting together and meeting new people."
TFH is a non-profit organization that works with at-risk, abused and neglected youth throughout the Upper Peninsula, placing many of them in temporary living facilities when necessary. Over time, Teen Tuesdays has been funed by the Marquette Community Foundation, the Marquette County Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Coalition and the United Way of Marquette County.
TFH Fund Development and Public Relations Manager Rich Rossway said many of the kids that turn out for the event are TFH kids, but he added that many neighborhood kids see the activity and end up staying for the full two hours.
"We try to draw the kids who might otherwise not have other activities," he said.
The Teen Tuesday location changes from week-to-week and has this summer been in Ishpeming, Negaunee, Gwinn and Marquette. For information on participating in Teen Tuesdays, call 906-249-5437.
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is kwhitney@miningjournal. net.