hanks in part to Andrew Revella's vision, many teenagers soon will find themselves in tune with another positive beat.
Revella, whose family owns the Avon Oaks Ballroom, Girard, is preparing the establishment to host entertainment with a religious taste that's geared toward teenagers.
A grand opening will take place next Saturday to introduce Pulse, a teen club that will sponsor live Christian music by local and national acts, as well as other activities and events for kids 13 to 19 and their youth pastors. The event is set to begin at 6 p.m. at Avon Oaks, 1301 N. State St.
Kicking off the opening for the new club will be performances by Up Next and Apologetix, both Christian rock groups. Up Next, a band from Warren, will play and be followed by Apologetix, a Pittsburgh-based quartet that performs nationally and has been heard on Christian Hit Radio.
The club's activities and entertainment every Saturday will complement ballroom, line and polka dancing that take place other nights of the week.
Revella said such a teen center is needed in the community and that the idea to include it at Avon Oaks came to him from a Forty Days of Purpose seminar in which he participated. Revella, a member of Pleasant Valley Church near Niles, said the continual seminar was incorporated into Sunday sermons offered at his church and were centered around trying to find what God's purposes for people's lives were. The study was based largely on the best-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life," by Rick Warren, Revella said.
& quot;After I finished the seminar, I had a vision that this was what I was supposed to do," he said. "I want [Pulse] to have clean fun and be a place parents feel comfortable sending their kids."
Janyse Cain, an advertising representative for Parent magazine and a youth leader, said the club is valuable partly because many young people would rather see a Christian-music or other concert in a public building than in a church. She stressed that even though Pulse will have "affordable" Christian entertainment as one of its themes, the club has an open-door policy to those of all faiths and backgrounds.
"[Many] teens complain of nowhere to go without spending an arm and a leg," Cain said.
Someone to listen
The club will provide about 22 mentors "to work with, listen and befriend the teens," as well as security guards, she continued. Youth pastors also will be on hand, she added.
In addition to offering a nurturing environment, Pulse leaders will enforce several rules, Cain noted. They include a ban on smoking, drinking, inappropriate dress and abusive language, she said, adding that Pulse's hours will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturdays.
Tickets are available for Apologetix and are $8 in advance, $12 at the door. Ticket locations are Avon Oaks, the David Cretella Insurance Agency, 38 S. State St., Girard; New Beginnings Bookstore, 2232 Elm Road, Warren; and Hubbard Music, 51 N. Main St., Hubbard.
They can also be obtained by logging onto www.apologetix.com or by calling Revella at 883-2870.
Cain said a main problem many teenagers have is sensing that adults don't listen to their concerns or issues. The teen center will have caring people and adult role models to try to help kids reverse that feeling, she said.
"They need to know that somebody cares about them," Cain said. "There are plenty of adults who know teens are important to the community as a whole. [Teens] are the future of the Valley and can make the Valley a wonderful place if they believe in it."
"It's a step in the revitalization of Youngstown and something we're offering back to the community," Revella said.