To start, I would like to note that I am piggybacking off of "What Masontown Has Done to Me" by Benjamin Thomas Rozzi. I am drawing inspiration from this article but with my own personal twist. Enjoy!
When I was six-years-old, my parents began volunteering for a new group, trying to help the local kids. Over time, most of the original members left, leaving my family to take over. Thus, the Burgettstown Kids' Center was born.
It started out with my family (mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, aunt, me), along with other people. We held craft classes, dances, bingo, Easter egg hunts, Breakfast with Santa, toy drives during Christmas, fundraised to build a park, yearly trips to Idlewild Amusement Park and Burgettstown Community Days where mostly everything was given away for free, except for pop and snacks. All that was ever asked of the families involved was that they helped to fundraise for these events.
For 13 years, everything ran perfectly. With this community center, we were able to do a lot of good for the people of the town. My dad always said that "we were able to give these kids something that they probably would not have without us." However, there were those who resented what the Kids' Center was doing. There were always people who tried to have it shut down for whatever reason.
One case that comes to mind is of a woman whose family we helped one Christmas. With Christmas hastily approaching, people were always needing help. We catered to a lot of families who could not afford to buy their children presents. So, we were there to help them out. With fundraising, we were able to go out and buy presents for different age groups to give out to the families (Note: that it was all free of charge to the families). In this case, the woman came to my father looking for help because one of her kid's friends stole all of the presents she bought for her grandchildren to sell for drugs. My father, being the naive, kind-hearted soul that he is, could not let these children go without a Christmas. He helped this woman out, and in turn, she became an active volunteer.
She had wonderful ideas, but eventually she became greedy. She was a control-freak, and needed to be in complete power. For the longest time, my dad did not want to believe that this woman would stab him in the back and refused to see what was actually happening. Eventually, he had no choice but to kick her out. Since then, she and the town mayor have made it their mission to destroy my father.
They spread blatant lies about my father embezzling money from the center. That was how my family was able to afford everything that we have. (Ever heard of a job, lady? My parents do work.) She was successful in convincing a lot of people of just that. She had no real proof, just her word versus my father's, and somehow she was still able to turn the town against my father.
Since then, there has been a string of problems. The biggest came to light over this past year. The local fire department is attached to the building that we use for the Kids' Center. For years, we have had an off and on again good relationship with the fire department. This time it was over who owned the Kids' Center. They believed that the building actually belonged to them. However, back in the 70s, the fire department sold the building to the Senior Citizens' Center, who then sold it to the Borough, who then sold it to the Kids' Center. We had also been paying the mortgage on the building for the last 13 years.
The matter has since been taken to the Burgettstown council where they refuse to make a decision on it since it is a conflict of interest. My father is also the president of the town council. With this, we had lost a life long mooch, I mean member, of the Kids' Center. We miss you, Kenny. You still owe the center $1000.
To the people reading this who have never been involved with the Kids' Center and who have been volunteers and friends, my family has done a lot of good for this trash pile of a town. We gave up a huge chunk of our lives to you. My brother and I gave up our childhoods to make sure that your children could have one. We have given a lot to make this town into what it is today. Don't forget that. You will regret this once we're gone.