Troy Milles is a guy who likes to go around in circles.
He’s in charge of the weekly Skate Night sessions at Key Peninsula Civic Center.
Skate Night has been a regular activity at the civic center for more than three decades and Milles has been the manager of the program since 2007.
Skate Night is geared to elementary and middle school kids who want a safe, wholesome, affordable place to hang out with their friends on Friday nights.
In addition to roller skating, Skate Night also offers games, a snack bar stocked with candy bars, cheese burgers and pizza and even an area for dancing.
“And it’s all for just $5 which includes your skate rental,” Milles said.
Until a few years ago, there were as many as 150 youngsters at Skate Night every week, but recently numbers have decreased.
So Milles and his team are giving Skate Night a bit of a facelift.
For starters, DJ Kip Miller is bringing in new lights and changing some of the games.
“I’ve also got raffle prizes and other fun stuff,” Miller said. “And I always pay attention to the music that the kids are listening to so I can have tunes they like.”
Milles added that his team is also scheduling special theme nights, “and we’re partnering with local groups like Subway and the Pierce County Library to come in once a month to provide treats and special activities for the kids.”
He’s also working with local elementary schools to give away half-off and free coupons in support of their walk-a-thons and reading programs, he said.
According to Holly Hendrick, marketing and facilities coordinator for the Key Pensula Civic Center Association, Skate Night is the longest, continually running youth program on the Key Peninsula, and possibly the county.
“It’s a safe, family friendly event that many parents remember from when they were kids growing up on the Key Peninsula,” Hendrick said.
Many of the kids –– especially the elementary school kids –– come to skate and participate in the games, Milles said.
“The middle school kids just like to hang out with their friends whether it’s in the game room or on the dance floor,” he added. “I think the biggest thing for everybody is the social aspect.”
Parents can drop off their kids at 5:30 and then go someplace and have some time to themselves for a couple of hours, Miller said. “We don’t let any kid leave without a parent coming to pick them up,” he said.
Skate Night is also a great place for high school students to earn community service hours needed for graduation.
“Our staff and volunteers are all mentors,” Hendrick said. “And the teen volunteers are great role models for the younger kids.”
For information, visit kpciviccenter.org or call Holly Hendrick at (253) 884-3456.
Want to go?
Skate Night takes place every Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Key Peninsula Civic Center, starting Sept. 12. Cost is $5 for the evening, which includes skate rental.