The 2009 Leadership Monett class has chosen The Den as its community service project.
In selecting a project, class members discussed the pressing needs of the Monett community and decided they wanted to focus their efforts on area youth.
"We discussed the fact that the city does not have any facilities outside the movie theater for teens to engage in activities," said Ken Gaspar, a member of the Leadership class who serves as project manager. "When we discovered that The Den was being established from the Leadership program directors, it was a unanimous decision to assist them."
According to Gaspar, the group was drawn to the fact that The Den would be serving youth in seventh through 12th grades and providing a safe, fun and age-appropriate place for the young people to gather and interact.
"Larger communities offer a myriad of activities and functions, but we are limited here in Monett," Gaspar said. "The entire group felt strongly enough to jump on board.
"The Den's Board is comprised of highly motivated and dedicated individuals," added Gaspar. "The community should be very proud of this group and want to support them to ensure success."
The Leadership class' support so far has consisted of paint scraping and other work to help get The Den ready for an early June opening. A subcommittee has also been formed within the class to address fundraising and material needs. A list of items the facility needs is included in today's story on The Den.
"The Leadership group will be getting the word out to as many people as we can, but The Den deserves to have everyone contacted," Gaspar said. "The more effort the Monett community exerts, the greater the chances of the Den's success."
Members of the 2009 Leadership Monett class, which is offered through the Monett Chamber of Commerce, includes: Laura Apostol, Miracle Recreation Equipment; Rawn Batson, Family Care Chiropractic; Brian Bouray, International Dehydrated Food; Russ Courdin, Jack Henry & Associates; Bryce Garner, EFCO, a Pella Corporation; Sarah Garner, Monett R-1 School District; Gaspar, Jack Henry and Associates; Sarah Hohensee, Monett Chamber of Commerce; Mark Murphy, Tyson Foods, Inc.; Everett Patterson, EFCO, a Pella Corporation; and Jason Schulz, Clark Industries.