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DeWitt: Mall to host teen coffeehouse this Friday

Vicki Rothman and Patty Massa think along similar lines. Moms of Jamesville-DeWitt High School students, the two discovered they both wanted to create some sort of gathering place for teens. Their plan paid off and a successful coffeehouse event resulted.

With the support of the JDHS Parent Teacher Group (PTG) and Shoppingtown Mall administrators, J-D youth enjoyed their first teen bean caf (c) last year. About five local high school bands played music while good eats were set up inside the former Walden Bookstore. The mixer drew almost 200 teens and was such a hit, kids asked for another one.

"We had a second and had a great response as well," Rothman said.

Rothman and Massa organized the food, security, rentals and volunteers, while Rothman's oldest son Josh, now a freshman in college, and his friends helped arrange the musical acts.

"We received a donation of coffee, cups and assorted cocoa and tea from the Paul DeLima Company," she said. "And we were on our way."

There will be a nominal charge of $2 for J-D students and $3 for all others who would like to attend the Nov. 30 java fest at Shoppingtown. The fee includes one raffle ticket per person so kids will have a chance to win a CD player system.

Pizzas, drinks, cookies and candy will also be sold throughout the night, Rothman said, with proceeds going to the J-D Musician's Club. The 12-member group, which includes Rothman's youngest son Dan, is currently raising money to sponsor a second Battle of the Bands -- a competition between various local players. The members seek innovative ways to fundraise their cause. They are actively involved with this particular project as well.

Shoppingtown's Marketing Manager Nannette Carbone said mall officials are steadfast proponents of community involvement.

"We fully enjoy being the 'town center' of the Dewitt community," Carbone said. "Macerich and Shoppingtown take great pride in collaborating with local organizations as they reach out to the community."

"The J-D Coffeehouse is one example of this partnership," she said.

The party begins at 8 p.m. and runs through 11 p.m.

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