New Youth Commission Kicks Off With Ice Cream!

Photo: It’s ice cream time for middleschoolers.

File this under making friends and influencing the sweet tooth.

The newly-reconstituted Belmont Youth Commission which held its inaugural meeting on Monday, Feb. 4 has quickly gotten out the starting blocks announcing its first event; an ice cream social for students from the Chenery Middle School on Valentines Day.

According to Marisa Melanson, Belmont’s youth coordinator said the event for 5th to 8th graders will take place on Thursday, Feb. 14, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Belmont Public Library in the Assembly Room. The free event is sponsored by the commission, Belmont Public Library, and Moozy’s.

At the library, the “kids will be able to make cards for our troops while making their ice cream sundaes,” said Melanson, who was hired as the town’s youth coordinator in November after being an environmental health intern in the Health Department. 

The renewed commission met at Town Hall to discuss its charge set by the Board of Selectmen and elect its slate of officers. Adam Dash, chair of the selectmen, said the commission was established to create programs as well as advice on behalf of the young people in town. 

David Alper, the former longtime chair and member of the Health Board who spearheaded the re-establishment of the group which he belonged to in its original form, said he would take the chair but just for six months so others can get up to speed on its mission. He noted that particular focus of the commission should be towards middle school-aged children who are unlike elementary school kids that are programmed “to an inch of their lives” and high schoolers who are much more mobile and have established their groups. 

“The earlier you get them” into creative and health programs “provides the biggest bang for the buck,” said Alper.

The commission members are:

  • David Alper, D.P.M. (Chair)
  • Gavin Farrell, M.M.
  • Zachary Gillette
  • Alyssa Gould (Secretary)
  • Victoria Lesser
  • Sue Morris
  • Robin Ohringer Ph.D., L.I.C.S.W. (Vice Chair)
  • Laura Panos, J.D.
  • Jeffrey Speller, M.D., M.B.A.