Greg Moore Youth Centre in Maple Ridge marks 15 years

The Greg Moore Youth Centre celebrated its 15th anniversary on Saturday afternoon.

Volunteers were rewarded, Happy Birthday was sung and the namesake sports hero honoured as the Greg Moore Youth Centre celebrated its 15th anniversary on Saturday afternoon.

MP Dan Ruimy brought greetings from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I believe our youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today,” Ruimy read. “As we celebrate the anniversary of the Greg Moore Youth Centre we also take this opportunity to reflect on the importance of our young people to the fabric of our society.

“Thank-you to all of you who worked so hard in the last 15 years to ensure the success of this youth centre.”

The youth centre presented “You Rock Awards” to three people.

• Gehrig Merritt and his therapy dog Lucky, who visit the centre every Friday night so kids who don’t have pets can visit with the friendly bulldog.

• Dave Granholm of Dominoes Pizza for his sponsorship and support of GMYC programs.

• Lelania Chapman, a cancer patient who rescued four boys who had been cliff jumping when they found themselves stuck on the rocks they couldn’t climb, leaving them cold and injured, at Cliff Falls.

Chapman said she wasn’t sure she had the strength to undergo chemo treatment, until she lowered a rope and helped haul those teens to safety.

“I was really depressed the night before. I didn’t know if I had the energy to do chemo. Then I went for that walk and rescued those boys. Then I realized I do, I have the strength,” she said.

“They always say ‘You saved me'” and I say ‘No, you guys saved me.'”

There were kids on hand shooting pool, playing air hockey and rumbling down the wooden skateboard halfpipe, and there were speeches by Mayor Nicole Read, MLAs Marc Dalton (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Doug Bing (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge) and by people who work at the centre.

The Youth Wellness Centre was going to host a ball drop fundraiser using the RE/MAX hot air balloon, but the wind warnings brought the event indoors, and the balls were dropped from the Youth Centre balcony onto a target.

The closest ball belonged to Lori Graham, but she planned to donate the shopping and dining spree back to benefit the Youth Wellness Centre.

Mike Murray, the city’s former recreation director who saw the city through several versions of youth centres before the GMYC was built, said it was local kids who chose the name Greg Moore.

“The name actually came from the kids. He was revered by youth because he was a young guy who set some non-traditional goals, and he got after them with a passion, and achieved success.”

Tony Controneo led the assembly in the singing of Happy Birthday, and there were cupcakes to celebrate the event.