Monday, May 15, 2006

Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Canoga Park - Lanark Recreation Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility, hosted a Cinco De Mayo festival to kick-off the center's Friday Night Teen Extreme Program.

Lanark has revived their Extreme Teen Program in an attempt to divert local youth from participating in gang activity. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, the Canoga Park area was suppressed by drug and gang activity. The City Attorney, the councilmember and LAPD, brought all of the City departments and property owners together to make the area safer.

A Friday Night Teen Program was created to bring the park back to life and provide young adults with positive alternatives to gang activity. Over 100 teens came to the park every week to play sports, dance, listen to music and take field trips. Members of the community and police force served as mentors and the crime rate went down.

With the recent increase of gang activity, the Friday Night Extreme Teen Program has been re-created in order to prevent a downhill trend. The newly restored program was welcomed back into the community on Friday, May 5, 2006, with a teen softball league and festival.

The event opened with entertainment by Hip-Hop and Ballet Folklorico dancers. Two softball games followed the opening ceremony. Live entertainment continued with the Latin rock band, Sangrefria and Cumbia band, Grupo Pecado.

For more information about the Extreme Teen Program call (818)883-1503.

Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711