Pulaski Community Youth Center opening in memory of Noah Thomas

Youth center will serve teens 13 to 18 years old

Keeping a young boy's memory alive by helping other children in the community, the New River Valley will celebrate the life of Noah Thomas on Saturday when the doors to a new youth center open for the first time.
The old Riverlawn Elementary is getting new tenants. The school was closed for about 10 years. And a non-profit benefiting children will soon fill the hallways and classrooms once again. 

"There's lot's of space for our youth to experience life together," said Tina Martin, executive director of the Pulaski Community Youth Center

They're putting the finishing touches on cleaning and renovations.

The center is preparing for an open house celebration Saturday. 

"We have some Radford University students to come over and do tutoring after school and they will get a hot meal every evening. We want to fill in that gap that maybe mom and dad just can't," said Martin. 

The idea came about after the death of Noah Thomas. His body was found in a septic tank near the family's home in Dublin almost three years ago.

Noah Thomas was 5 years old when he passed away and the Pulaski Community Youth Center wants all students to know about the young boy who left a lasting impact on the entire community. 

Martin said the tragedy brought everyone together. 

"The people that I work for, Phoenix Packaging, his death was a big impact on them and they felt a need to do something in our community to help change the outlook for the future of Pulaski County," said Martin. 

The youth center will target middle school students in the area and provide them with after-school tutoring and activities. They will be open after the school day until 7:30 p.m. each evening. They will expand to weekends in the future.  

Martin said there's been a lot of community support for the center. 

The Pulaski Community Youth Center is hosting a community open house celebration Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.