ALTON - The New iMerge Community Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit for youth, is off and running in strong fashion after a large turnout on Friday night at 200 W. Third St. in Alton.

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IMerge is the name for the new operators of the old Riverbender Community Center.

“I was very happy about tonight’s turnout. We are hopeful to continue and excited to continue the mission of the community center,” iMerge owner Brigit Holt said. “It was so much fun, and the kids had a blast.”

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Daniel Nosce, the iMerge Assistant Director said: “I was so delighted to see the smiling faces of all those that missed coming to the community center. It means a lot to me, and I really hope that the community can rally behind the mission of this memorable and unique organization. Our youth need gems like the iMerge Community Center. It’s one of the many places that make Alton special.”

There were a variety of activities Friday night from music to a balloon drop, and much more at the grand opening event.

There will be open play and other events each Friday night in the coming weeks. An open play will also be held on Saturdays in the near future geared more toward elementary school-age children, Holt said.

The open play takes place from 6:30-10 p.m. each Friday. The Saturday open play is still in the planning stages, but should begin soon, the owner said.

Tickets for Friday night open play can be purchased online here: https://imergecommunitycenter.org/ The tickets become available on Sunday.

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