FAIRMONT - The Lighthouse, a hangout for middle and high school students on Downtown Plaza in Fairmont, is getting a makeover.
Martin County Youth For Christ hopes to raise up to $8,000 to install a social area with a "coffee house feel" and relocate its game room to the front of the building.
Youth for Christ director Mike Johnson said the makeover is largely a matter of paint and new furniture, but was born out of conversations with high school students about what they would like to have in town.
The mission of the Lighthouse is to provide a safe place for kids to come after school where there are adults who care for them.
But it is more too. Johnson said there are occasional speakers or discussion on issues related to youth. And, according to volunteer Shelly Larsen, in addition to helping youth get to know each other, and offering movies and games, YFC runs Campus Life ministry, which includes a breakfast club at the Fairmont and GHEC high schools, Bible studies and summer camp.
In addition to being a hangout for teens, the Lighthouse is used as a meeting place for church groups and youth groups.
"We are pulling in a lot of different groups," said staff member Sam Kautzman. "Our goal is to reach kids who don't go to church and get them there."
The current space utilizes used furniture, has some chipped paint, and older flooring. Renovations will add wall colors chosen by students, leather furniture and other touches.
The project is in its planning stages, but funds are being raised with a bake sale and open house Friday night.
"People can stop in during Holiday Delights between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.," Larsen said.
Cider, coffee will be available, along with the opportunity to take home a Christmas ornament made by Youth for Christ students for a donation.
Between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Friday, the Lighthouse hosts a Lia Sophia drop-in show, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to the Campus Life and makeover projects.