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Friday program reaches out to youth
The opening ceremony for this summers FUN Club included the posting of colors by the East Union High JROTC. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Youngsters of the Friday Unity Night in the Neighborhood were still getting used to their new digs following the ribbon-cutting event.

FUN Club Inc. recently moved from the cozy and familiar Southside Christian Church to the former Give Every Child A Chance site at 602 E. Yosemite Ave., Manteca.

“Right now, it’s still kind of confusing,” said Dominique White, a returning FUN Club member.

She and others stood in line on Friday along the upstairs staircase, awaiting a meal consisting of a slice of pizza and three items of fruits and/or vegetables.

Nutrition and fitness is part of the Fun Club mission. The Rev. Quincy McClain, who, along with her husband, Nick, co-founded this free program for youngsters age 6-17.

On hand for the grand opening was Mike Anderson from the office of U.S. Representative Jeff Denham, Phil Waterford of Waterford’s Manteca Ford and Exotic High Line, Karl Knutsen of the East Union High Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp, and SHARP Capt. Marty  Maldonado. Together, they shared in the ribbon-cutting honors.

“We have been waiting to move into this building for the longest time,” said Quincy McClain, who noted that those in attendance were part of an historic event.

She invited First Lady Michelle Obama, who, according to McClain, sent a letter to graciously bow out due to her schedule.

Waterford, however, caught the attention of youngsters by providing a monetary reward to those answering his questions. “It pays to pay attention,” he said.

Waterford added: “Good choices give you rewards – Bad choices, there are consequences.”

He also announced that the FUN Club was a recent winner of a brand-new Ford Fiesta.

But thanks to the wishes of McClain, Waterford not only has plans to re-sell the 2013 model, but all proceeds, instead, will go back to the FUN Club to make possible activities for this summer. “The check will be for a significant amount,” he said.

Meanwhile, FUN Club member Matthew Gomez liked the new spread. “It’s confusing but there are also more things to do here,” he said.

Included are a music room, video game room, exercise equipment room, an indoor bounce house, a pool table, and a multi-purpose room on the bottom floor. Fitness classes such as Zumba and Yoga are also being offered.

McClain’s message is simple: Make better food and health choices to help combat and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.

It starts with education.

“I need every student to visit our Health and Wellness Center upstairs,” she said.

Incidentally, her new venue is five times bigger than that of her church located at 314 Locust Ave., Manteca.

The FUN Club will continue throughout the summer, meeting each Friday with a different theme for each month. The time is 5 to 9 p.m.

June is “You are What You Eat, Drink & Think.”

July is “Say No to Gangs, Drugs, and Crime.”

August is “Be Cool, Stay in School.”

To learn more, call the FUN Club at 209-275-2154 or e-mail