Hear from Les at Tapply-Thompson Community Center
When the Tapply-Thompson Community Center opened its doors in 1946 it was actually named the Bristol Community Center and was the vision of Reverend A.B. Thompson. A.B. believed that there was a need for a program that would yield not only an outlet for constructive play, but would help build character and allow for a more well-rounded individual. His original vision continues to be fulfilled in the programs that are offered today. The first Director of the Center was Richard “Wink” Tapply. Wink’s philosophy was, “If one young adult life is influenced for the good, it is money well spent”. “Wink” and A.B. were able to transfer the former Methodist Church building into a community hub that has served the citizens of the Newfound Region for 75 years. The name was changed in 2001 to honor these two men that left such an incredible legacy behind.
The Tapply-Thompson Community Center serves the eight towns in the Newfound Lake Region with recreational programs for all ages. We provide youth sports which include basketball, baseball & softball, soccer, field hockey, track & field, karate and volleyball to name a few. We also offer after school programs for youth in Kindergarten to High School and are open on no school and vacation days. In the summer we provide summer day camps for grades K-8 and work opportunities for older youth. In the past few years we have established a strong TTCC Teen Council and currently have 36 High School students involved. This group volunteers at TTCC and community events, sponsors sports teams, and has raised funds to purchase a new water fountain, gym mats and funds for the renovation of the gymnasium.
The TTCC could not function without our volunteers who step up to coach our sports teams, work our fundraisers, and help wherever needed. We consistently hear from the community that our staff & volunteers exceed their expectations while providing quality programs and activities. We believe every child should have the opportunity to join a team, build confidence and friendships in an after school program and gain an appreciation and love of nature in a summer camp setting. Unfortunately, recreational programs and activities are often not an option for many children due to the costs associated with the programs. In an effort to allow all children an opportunity to participate in the various programs, the TTCC has set up a scholarship fund. Our scholarship program involves a volunteer component to 'pay back' the scholarship by helping us with events, baking, clerical and maintenance duties. Many times the parents will volunteer and have their children work with them giving them a sense of belonging and purpose to be able to give back to the community.
We provide anywhere from $25,000 - $30,000 in scholarships each year. No child is denied access to a program for lack of funds. Donations for scholarships are our greatest need and we anticipate that 2020 will be the most difficult year to date due to the Covid-19 situation. We are hopeful to be able to offer summer day camps again this summer and give our local youth a sense of normalcy that is currently lacking. We are very lucky for all of the support we receive from our community and beyond and look forward to continuing the wonderful legacy that was left to us by “Wink” & A.B.!