PRINCETON — Second Story Teen Center was in the spotlight last week — literally.
A film crew hired by Jersey Mike’s Subs, a sandwich chain franchise based in Manasquan, New Jersey, traveled to Princeton to film the kids and volunteers who help to run the center.
Jeff and Dana VanAutreve were among five recipients in the United States to receive a $5,000 Sub Abover grant from Jersey Mike’s Subs. Their teen center was selected out of 2,600 non-profit nominations from all over the country.
A film crew came from Washington, D.C., to shoot footage that will be used in a documentary-like project for the sandwich company that will showcase all five grant recipients.
Dana explained that one of the criteria for the grant was that the non-profit organization had to be located within 60 miles of a Jersey Mike’s restaurant.
Luckily, there is one located in East Peoria, which is about 45 miles away, and it helped qualify Second Story.
Dana also pointed out that a Jersey Mike’s will open in Peru in several months.
“We will be taking a group of teens over there and just say, ‘Hey, we’re a part of your blessings back to us, and we’re excited,’” she said.
Money from the grant will be used to buy entertainment equipment and upgrade the security system at the teen center.
“This money will assure the parents that their kids are very safe and well taken care of and monitored,” Dana said.
Receiving this grant provides a stronger reinforcement for the VanAutreves that Second Story can continue.
“In order to grow and make the center even better every year, we want to increase our numbers and increase the level of funding. With a little bit more sponsorships, we’re able to offer so much more for the kids,” Dana said.
The camera crew hired by Jersey Mike’s was in Princeton from last Monday to Wednesday. Dana said they enjoyed seeing the town and took shots of Main Street and the high school.
Second Story Teen Center offers free programs on Tuesday and Friday nights, serving 50 to 150 sixth-grade through high school seniors in Bureau County each night. Seven hundred children have checked in during the past two years.