WATERVILLE — A dedication ceremony for the expansion of the 3-D component of the Alfond Youth Center’s arts program for at risk youth is set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the center, at 126 North St.

The family of Greg Cooper made a donation in his name to purchase a new kiln, potters wheels, and supplies necessary to kick off a quality ceramics program at the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA of Greater Waterville, according to a center news release.

Cooper died unexpectedly at the age of 51, his family was left reeling and in search of a way to make sense of the loss and honor his memory. Cooper’s sister, Crista Lavenson, who works at the club, said “I know Greg loved working with kids and he was such a fine potter … it seemed an obvious answer. I talked to our parents about funding a Ceramics Program for the center’s youth in his name,” according to the release.

“We jumped at the chance,” said Alan and Shari Cooper, Greg’s parents, according to the release. “Greg would love it, we’ll be giving art to kids in need, and Waterville will benefit, too.” Their donation, along with Greg’s wife, Livy, and other family and friends is creating a program slated to start this month and grow into the New Year.

“We can’t wait to get the kids throwing pots,” said Child Care Operations Manager Karla Stratton, according to the release. The kids are excited to not only make their own creations but begin to sell them at center functions to help sustain the program. “Once we get the kids program in gear we will open classes to our senior population in the mornings and adults in the evenings,” stated Lavenson in the release. “Greg is bringing this functional skill and marketable art that he mastered so beautifully to so many people — he would like that.”

For more information, contact Lavenson at 872-7092 or [email protected].

For more information about the club, visit www.clubayc.org.

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