My Place Teen Center is an after-school drop-in destination for youth in the Greater Portland, Maine area. Their mission is to provide a safe haven for youth, ages 10 – 18, sustaining them with comfort, meals, resources, and hope.
The center goes beyond just providing a safe place for teens, they provide healthy meals, life skills training, academic assistance, personal development, mentoring, physical fitness, nutritional skills, leadership skills, art lessons, higher education and job acquisition support, and on top of all that, a fun place to hang out where everyone feels like they are at home.
MPTC was established in May of 1998 under the name Mission Possible Teen Center as the city’s first no-barrier program for all kids. After a significant increase in turnout, they ended up relocating to their current Westbrook, Maine location. To celebrate their 15th year of serving youth, they rebranded and became My Place Teen Center—a name that perfectly embodies the spirit of the center.
Today, MPTC serves roughly 500 kids per year, 60-90 per day, and serves 10,000 healthy meals annually. As a non-profit organization, acquisition of funding to support their life-changing programs is always an ongoing struggle. This year, MPTC was chosen as the beneficiary of a local road race, TD Beach to Beacon 10K.
The TD Beach to Beacon was founded 19 years ago by Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson who wanted to fulfill her dream of creating a race with a course winding along the stunning coastline of Portland, Maine where she used to train. The race draws in roughly 6,500 runners and thousands of additional spectators. It is a widely anticipated event and this year, the even sold out all of their open to the public registration bibs (about 4,000) in less than 4 minutes! Each year, a non-profit organization that serves the youth is chosen as a beneficiary to receive a donation from the Beach to Beacons charitable foundation.
My Place Teen Center was chosen as the 2016 beneficiary. In addition to the donation they received, they also had the opportunity for a great deal of publicity and additional fundraising while at the event. MPTC decided that they wanted an item that they could sell at the race registration to help raise additional funds for their center.
They selected our Colorful Cowbell. They knew the item was the perfect way for spectators to cheer on the runners from the crowd. After receiving their quote and recognizing their immense impact on our local community, Crestline decided to lend a hand to MPTC during this exciting time by donating the cow bells so that all the money raised could go towards supporting the youth who have come to consider MPTC their second home.
MPTC was able to sell half of the cowbells at this event and the reaction from the crowd was positive. Everyone loved the color of the bells and how the logos came out. They plan to use the remaining cowbells at future events for additional fundraising.