by: HUGHEY - Youth pastor Dale Hauser, right, says Canby Evangelical Church will create a safe environment at its new youth center.Canby Evangelical Church on Southwest Township Road has put out a welcome mat for the community's young folk.

The church recently opened a Youth Center in a building adjacent to the church at 339 SW Township Road. It will be open to youth Wednesdays from 3 to 9 p.m.

It's a safe, comfortable environment said, Youth Pastor Dale Hauser.

"It's part of our youth ministry," he said. "We wanted to reach out to the kids, the teens in the community. We finally have a place we can open up and allow kids to come in."

It has a lot to offer -- a pool table, air hockey, foosball, video projectors, flat screen TV and Wi-Fi. They can do their homework, play video games or watch TV and movies.

And munch on some free pizza. The youth center has its own pizza oven.

The main construction was completed in November, he said. "We've just barely moved in.”

If center activity grows, maybe they can open two nights, for different age groups, he said.

A former youth center was housed in an old house, which was eventually sold, Hauser said. The games were stored away and youth activities limited to a room in the basement.

“We’re finally at a point we can open it up and do a little bit more,” he said.

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