Alton, IL – January 6, 2011 – The Riverbender.com Community Center has one last chance to win grant money from the wildly popular Pepsi Refresh Project. During the month of January anyone can vote for the projects they would like to see Pepsi donate money to. The proposed projects that receive the most votes during the month will win the grant money. If the Center is one of the top ten vote recipients in January, they will then be awarded $50,000.

The Center previously applied for a grant in early 2010, but missed winning the grant by only one place several months in a row. Since then, the Center has relied on donations from individuals and local businesses, membership and admission fees, and hosting special events to operate.

Locally several projects have already won grant money from Pepsi due to the large support the community threw toward the voting effort. Alton Park and Rec and Alton High School both won $50,000 last March to upgrade tennis courts and facilities. Sts. Peter and Paul won $25,000 to provide new computers to their students. That money streaming into local neighborhoods has resulted in noticeable improvements not otherwise possible. The Community Center can be the next to have enough votes to win and bring our area an additional $50,000 to fund programs for our youth if there is enough support from the River Bend residents.

Voting is as easy as sending a text message. Voters can text the number 105298 to Pepsi (73774) - only standard text rates apply. There is also a Facebook voting application created by Pepsi. The last way to vote is on the Pepsi Refresh website. The direct link to vote for the Community Center can be found at http://Riverbender.com/Pepsi

During the last several months many wonderful programs have been implemented at the Center. The Center is currently open to members Monday through Thursday after school from 3-6 p.m. and offers homework and tutoring help at no charge.  Art and Music instruction is offered after school as well. The Center is available for private party rentals for birthday parties, scout or team get-togethers, corporate events, etc. Enlightening programs for the teens such as Robotics, Chess Club, Video-making, theater workshops and performances, culinary education, gaming tournaments, open mic nights, etc. all boasted nice participation levels and rave reviews from the teens.

The grant money will be used to expand art & music programs, add a Smart Board, additional computers and other enhancements to the facility and programs.

Riverbender.com Community Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing services to people of all ages in Alton and the surrounding Riverbend Communities. The Riverbender.com Community Center has been developed to provide teens a safe and fun alternative to at-risk behaviors and negative peer pressure. If you are interested in volunteering, contributing financially, or would like more information, please contact Michelle at 618-465-9850 ext. 212 or michelle@riverbender.com

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