Groundbreaking Ceremony for LIFT’s flagship youth center location!
Ringgold, Georgia, June 15, 2020 – LIFT Youth Center Inc, in conjunction with the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce, held a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Thursday, June 25th at 9am at 7197 Nashville Street. Some media, key leadership and Chamber Ambassadors were physically present, but the public was largely invited to attend via a FaceBook Live Event due to cautiousness with Covid-19.
How it all started:
In the Spring of 2018 the idea of opening a Youth Center in Ringgold was born in the hearts of a handful of passionate parents. The concept of LIFT was developed – its mission is to create opportunities for students to be Loved as they are, Inspired to be more, Found in community and Trusted to make a difference. LIFT’s Founding Board established the organization as a 501c3 nonprofit, working closely with local service providers and leaders in the community while connecting with students and parents about their needs. In that two year journey LIFT held many community events, partnered with other agencies and organizations, surveyed its constituency, wrote an in-depth business plan, established a formal Board of Directors, an Advisory Council and a Support Team of talented, passionate community leaders, and found the perfect building to hold the center… It has been a fruitful beginning as LIFT has taken time to lay a solid foundation.
Nick Millwood, Mayor of Ringgold and local Middle School Teacher has been supportive of LIFT from the beginning. He said this, “LIFT is working toward fulfilling a need I see in our community every day. When a group of people come together to make a difference for the at-risk youth in our community, we should all ask what we can do to support that goal. The best thing we can do right now is hop on board with this movement and show our youth that there is hope when they have so many reasons to believe there is none. LIFT is stepping into that space and providing opportunities for our next generation to experience love, guidance and an opportunity to see that we do care. This is an opportunity to make all the difference.”
This Spring LIFT connected with three family foundations with local roots who provided substantial support for their start-up phase. LIFT was able to begin hiring staff and has purchased their building! This Groundbreaking Ceremony will mark the beginning of the remodel of the space and will launch LIFT’s Start-up Capital Campaign. 7197 Nashville Street will be the location of the Claudia Nance Rollins Youth Center – a drop-in after school Youth Center in Ringgold, Georgia, for 5th-12th grade students, where LIFT will foster an environment of inclusion, positive self-worth and self-discovery within our youth while facilitating inner growth to prepare them for future success.
Suicide, depression, anxiety, isolation and self-destructive behavior are all on the rise. Without support, students can move down a negative spiral as biological changes, negative social interactions, erratic sleep and technology overloads lead to problematic behavior and emotional patterns. This keeps the spiral going in a negative direction. The Claudia Nance Rollins Youth Center will be a positive anchor in a sea of negatives, an option where they can learn, grow and explore – even fail – all while being supported and encouraged. In this positive spiral, biological changes increase their tendencies to explore healthy versions of risk-taking which leads to taking on responsibility and improving self-confidence as their risk is rewarded. Students have so much potential to go positive OR negative, especially if…
- They are isolated or ostracized because they are unique in some way.
- They are raised by relatives, in foster care or have experienced some trauma.
- They are exposed to poverty, addiction, insecurity and unhealthy choices.
LIFT wants to help them go positive!
Tina Pinkston, LIFT’s Executive Director, said this, “If we can create a safe space where a student can learn their worth and believe in their potential all while having fun and making connections to other students…then we will have given them a great gift! LIFTing these students up, helping their families connect to resources, building a tribe of support as we go… this youth center will be a gift to our entire community!”
LIFT was excited to invite the public to their Groundbreaking Ceremony and eager to connect the community to concrete opportunities to share their support. Please go to www.LIFT-ringgold.today to find information on the Are You In Campaign, to give your tax-deductible gift, to join their mailing list, to fill out a Survey about the Claudia Nance Rollins Youth Center and to read much more about LIFT’s plans.
Kelly Bomar, President of LIFT’s Board of Directors, said, “It will ‘take a village’ to support the village we are planning to create, and every gift is a good one! The Claudia Nance Rollins Youth Center will be so much more than just a recreation space to entertain our youth after school. This will be Ringgold’s youth center, and it will take the whole community to fund and support this mission.”
Everyone at LIFT wants to thank all the folks who helped us break ground:
Amy Jackson – Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce President
Ian O’Shea – Crye-Leike Realtor/Chamber of Commerce Chair Elect and LIFT Advisory Council
Nick Millwood – Mayor of Ringgold and LIFT Village Leadership
Wayne Peters – Frank P Pierce Foundation
Keith Barclift – Director of the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority
Phil Ledbetter – Director of Catoosa County Family Collaborative and LIFT Advisory Council
Tina Pinkston – LIFT Executive Director
Chrissie Brown – LIFT Admin & Marketing Director
Rhonda Swaney – Ringgold City Council and LIFT Village Leadership
Kelly Bomar – Ringgold City Council and LIFT Board President
Michael Moore – LIFT Board Vice President
Tammy Gilliland – LIFT Board VP of Finance
Brandon Bell – LIFT Board Secretary
and last our student representative for the day and most important person, Gracie Henry!!
Thank you to others in attendance:
LIFT Board of Directors, members of LIFT Advisory Council and Support Team
Vanita Hullander – Catoosa County Coroner
Yvonne Morgan – Representing Senator Jeff Mullis
Dan Wright – Ringgold City Manager
They weren’t able to attend but we appreciate the support of:
Steven Henry – County Commissioner Chairman
Jim Cutler – County Commissioner District 3
Thank you to our Camera Crew: