Thursday, September 1, 2011 ALTON, IL –  The Community Center has quickly become “the place to be.” Attendance at the monthly dances has been steadily increasing and the End of Summer Dance on August 13th was no exception.


“It’s very rewarding to see all their smiling faces and I am thrilled that so many teens are enjoying what we have built for them,” said John Hentrich, Executive Director of the Center. “Last dance we reached our maximum capacity of 300; we have to take the appropriate precautions not to exceed that. We are doing our best to be a good neighbor by minimizing traffic congestion. To do this we are revamping the drop-off and pick-up processes to make things as painless as possible for both the parents and neighboring businesses.”


Hentrich commented that while he doesn’t want to turn anyone away from attending the dances, parents do need to be aware of the fact that once maximum capacity is reached, their teens will be denied entry to the dance. Adult volunteers supervise the drop-off in front of the Center and Hentrich says that these volunteers will notify parents if capacity has been reached and the facility can not take any more admissions. Signs will also be posted once capacity has been reached. Should a teen arrive at the dance after that, teens will be asked to phone their parents to pick them up from the Center.


Due to the increased attendance at the dances, the Center’s logistics committee has come up with the following suggestions to help alleviate some of the congestion and confusion during pick-up after the event.


  1. It would be helpful if not every parent came for pick-up right at 10 p.m.; any parents who can possibly come at 10:10 or 10:15 will help cut down on congestion.
  2. Carpooling will help tremendously; many attendees already carpool, but even more carpooling will be extremely helpful.
  3. Attendees need to be on the look out for their parent’s car during pick-up and move quickly when directed to the car in order to speed along the pick-up process.
  4. Please don’t block the intersections, take turns, and be courteous of other drivers and the volunteers trying to direct traffic. To cut down on traffic congestion it is suggested that there be no left turns at 4th and Belle Streets.


The Center hosts teen dances the second Saturday of every month from 7-10 p.m. Admission is $5 for members and $8 for non-members. Membership is open to any students in grades 6 through 12 and may be obtained prior to the dance by visiting the Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost of membership is $20 per year for one student or $30 per year for two or more students.


The Community Center is located at 200 W. 3rd Street in downtown Alton. For more information on the Center visit the website at:, call (618)465-9850, ext. 212 or email 


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