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Patti Leach Youth Center hosts ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner

by Jennifer Yos

LANSING, Ill. (November 27, 2019) – Members of the Patti Leach Youth Center gathered on the evening of Friday, November 22, to host Friendsgiving, a Thanksgiving-themed dinner shared among youth members, their families, youth center staff, and supporting Lansing community members.

The Friendsgiving event included a catered Thanksgiving dinner with youth members greeting and serving guests, contributing to the after-dinner dessert table, and providing live entertainment. The youth center members also expressed their thanksgiving on the leaves of a Thanksgiving “spirit tree.”

Youth from the Patti Leach Youth Center prepared a variety of sweets for the Friendsgiving dessert table. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Friendsgiving entertainment included a modern-day version of the first Thanksgiving. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Youth expressed appreciation for the positives in their lives on the leaves of a Thanksgiving spirit tree. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

Reflecting on her role as the Youth Center Director, Aneisha Titsworth shared her own thanksgiving: “I am definitely thankful for this position, I am thankful for every single youth that’s been in and out of this building, I am thankful for the village, all of the Trustees…for giving me this opportunity to go on this journey with the kids. I definitely hope that each day the kids come here, they get something special, and leave a little bit different.” Titsworth took on the position of Youth Center Director in May of 2019.

The Patti Leach Youth Center is located at 18123 Burnham Avenue. Their mission statement is “to provide opportunities for Lansing youth in Grades 6–12 to socialize in a fun, safe, and positive environment.”

Membership is open to all Lansing residents in Grades 6-12. To obtain a membership ID, one must be accompanied by a parent, sign a code of conduct agreement, and purchase a $10 annual photo ID card. Hours of operation are from 3:30–8:00pm during the school year.

Friendsgiving dinner hosts and guests posing in the photo op area include Patti Leach Youth Director Aneisha Titsworth (center left), staff and youth members, Village Administrator Dan Podgorski (top row right), and Village Communications Director Ken Reynolds (top row center). (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Jennifer Yos
Jennifer Yos
Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann’s School and T.F. South, and she earned a BA in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a MS in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, Joliet. For 34 years she taught English, as well as Creative Writing and Drama, at Lincoln-Way High School. She dabbled in freelance journalism for the Joliet Herald News Living section. Now retired, Jennifer appreciates the opportunity to write for The Lansing Journal and is uplifted by the variety of positive people she has already met who are making a difference in Lansing.