Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County, while celebrating its third birthday at its Good Neighbor Banquet Tuesday, made a special presentation to honor a handful of its Kids Club members.

Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County, while celebrating its third birthday at its Good Neighbor Banquet Tuesday, made a special presentation to honor a handful of its Kids Club members. Challenged to write about community, 19 essay contest entries were whittled down to five winners who were recognized during the dinner of more than 250 and were each awarded a Chromebook.

Building relationships in community and teaching those bonds to youth is what makes Community Renewal vital to future generations, featured speaker Steve Buck, executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA), said.

Buck lauded the efforts of Community Renewal, saying programs like Kids Club are the greatest prevention antidote for keeping youth from making bad choices — choices that lead them into OJA services.

“It's organizations like Community Renewal that can hopefully put the OJA out of business,” he said.

About the organization

Community Renewal passionately promotes the restoration of relationships from within neighborhoods, bringing member after member into its fold.

Director Brandon Dyer said his organization now has more than 3,200 We Care. team members, 136 Block Leaders and its Kids Club program serves 275 children from seven neighborhood schools and its Friendship House.

The nonprofit's first Friendship House in Kickapoo Park is up and running; its second, at Main and Bryan, will soon follow suit. Travis Flood, Friendship House director, and his family, live in the first house at 7th and Pottenger. Flood said the second Friendship House should be finished soon. Michael Phillips with his wife, Jessica, and their three sons are set to move into the unique neighborhood resource once it's done.

Community Renewal Pottawatomie County’s office is at 1000 N. Kickapoo.

To learn more, join in or make a donation, visit Community Renewal Shawnee, OK on Facebook, visit http://communityrenewal.org or call (405) 273-1035.