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2     WHEREAS, The Illinois House of Representatives is pleased
3 to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Christian Youth Center in
4 Joliet; and
5     WHEREAS, In 1947, an independent youth program with
6 individual clubs throughout the Chicago area had its first Hi
7 Crusaders meeting in a back room of the old Ridgewood Baptist
8 Church, and this non-denominational organization was the
9 springboard from which the Christian Youth Center began; and
10     WHEREAS, The leadership of Harvey Russell helped begin 60
11 other Chicago-area Hi Crusaders clubs, of which Russell became
12 the overseer; and
13     WHEREAS, In the fall of 1957, a group of dedicated
14 businessmen who had been Hi Crusaders incorporated under the
15 name of the Christian Laymen's Association and established the
16 Christian Youth Center, and Chuck Miller became its first
17 director; and
18     WHEREAS, The teens of the Christian Youth Center first met
19 in homes, and then the Board of Directors rented a storefront
20 on Cass Street near the high school, and then, with no visible
21 means of support or income, purchased an old two-story frame



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1 house at 218 Herkimer; and
2     WHEREAS, In 1961, Harvey Russell began what was to be 40
3 years as the Director of the Christian Youth Center, serving
4 still today as Director Emeritus and remaining fully involved
5 in the running of the Center; and
6     WHEREAS, It was believed that God wanted a Christian Youth
7 Center in Will County, so in 1973, the Board of Directors took
8 another giant step of faith and constructed a beautiful new
9 facility on 20 acres of land, still without tax dollars or
10 being on the budget of the United Way, yet the mortgage for the
11 new building on Manhattan Road was paid in less than four years
12 thanks to the generous help of supporters; and
13     WHEREAS, The facility and the number of staff have grown;
14 and
15     WHEREAS, While some of the programs, such as the weekly
16 hour-long youth radio program, no longer exist, the
17 after-school programs, youth groups for junior high, high
18 school and college-age residents, youth and adult sports
19 programs, day camps, teen camps, and Lend a Hand Ministry have
20 expanded to reach everyone from five-years-old to senior
21 citizens; therefore, be it



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3 congratulate the members of the Christian Youth Center in
4 Joliet on its 50th Anniversary; and be it further
5     RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
6 presented to the Christian Youth Center in Joliet as a symbol
7 of our esteem.