Willie Mae Stokes Community Center opens in Micanopy

Willie Mae Stokes Comm center .jpg

In the heart of Micanopy, the Willie Mae Stokes Community Center is a place everyone can call home.

Founder and pastor Chris Stokes named the center after his mother Willie Mae because of the work she did for the community.

“She was very active in the community. She always made sure that we were involved in something in the community,” Stokes said.

Now Stokes is continuing that work by offering educational programs, youth programs and employment services for the community.

“We have free wi-fi and the community can come in and do job searches on the internet. We’ll help them with resume prep,” Stokes said.

The center is also a safe haven for youth who can get homework assistance and play games in an area called “Sean’s corner”

Though Sean’s corner is place for fun and games it also has a personal meaning for Stokes.

“Sean was our 17-year-old son who was killed last year in an ATV accident. He loved video games,” Stokes said.

Behind the center, there's a garden named after PJ an active community member who passed away in November.

The area will now be used for gardening and enhancement.

Stokes says the Willie Mae center is something the community needs and he hopes is a place where everyone can feel welcome.

" We are a welcoming community and we want this to be a welcoming place."

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