May 26, 2024

The Alley in Dodge City celebrating 20 years

Dodge City, KS( On December 20, 1997, The Alley teen center opened its doors for the first time to serve the youth of Dodge City, KS, and the surrounding community. For 20 years, those doors have welcomed thousands of teens into an environment where they can be themselves; they can hang out with their friends away from the pressures of school or home, and away from the pressures of drugs and alcohol; a place where they are accepted, respected and encouraged. A place that is theirs; a place they can belong.

To honor this accomplishment, The Project Teen-Safe, Inc and The Alley teen center celebrates its 20 Year Anniversary with an Open House & Party on Sunday, January 14th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at The Alley, located at 2200 First Avenue in Dodge City, KS. All are invited including teens, past and present; former directors, former teen and adult board members, former and current donors, staff, volunteers, public officials and the general public. It will be a celebration of past accomplishments, a way to thank donors from the last 20 years, and a chance for previous directors and teen board members to reunite. We’ll share The Alley’s future vision, there will be displays of photos, along with refreshments. For more information visit the “The Alley 20 Year Anniversary Party” on Facebook. The Alley’s website is

Additional information: The idea for a teen center was born in October 1996 after the fatal shooting of Justin Mercado, a Dodge City teenager and innocent bystander, in Boothill Museum parking lot, a popular teen hangout.

In February 1997, Project Teen-Safe, Inc, a non-profit organization, was incorporated and in conjunction with parents, community leaders, and others, the idea for a teen center began to take shape. The vacant Plaza Lanes bowling alley was secured by private donors and work began using volunteer labor and materials and a huge outpouring of support from the community. Much of the renovation/finish work was done by the teens themselves under the direction of volunteer construction professionals.

The grand opening to thank donors was held on December 17, 1997 and the first event for teens on December 20, 1997. The Alley is operated by the Project Teen-Safe Board of Directors and managed by the Director and Teen Board members who assist in planning and executing events for middle school and high school students. The Center has been redecorated and programs have evolved over the years, but the primary goal of providing a safe place for teenagers remains the same.

In 2010, the EndZone afterschool program was introduced; a free afterschool program for middle school students. The Z98 Great Quack Attack is the biggest fundraiser for the Alley every year.  Join them for their 20 Year Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, January 14th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.