Volunteering at the AAYC by Ada Sanchez

My time volunteering at the AAYC,  by Ada Sanchez  March 7, 2016

ada sanchez

The Amarillo Activity Youth Center (AAYC) is a 501c3 non-profit that opened April 11, 2007. It is located at 816 S Van Buren, Amarillo, TX 79101.  The organization is investing their time to helping make sure the youth receive all the resources and programs to stay safe and off the streets.  The AAYC is not just for the youth there are programs for adults as well for instance; Zumba, juggling, self-defense and many others. All the staff are volunteers, no one is paid. Al proceeds go to the children to get more programs going and keeping them off the streets.  Volunteers during the month of October get together and display the famous haunted house, Van Buren Frightmare.

Many organizations focus on either having enough money or not having enough people helping but the AAYC’s primary problem is not getting the word out there about what all they do. Having kids and adults to help build together to make this organization even more great, for instance in June they will have a car show called Kars4kids and all the proceeds will go to the community center.

My time spent there was amazing.  The staff made me feel welcomed and it is an inviting atmosphere.  Saw the children be themselves and having fun, running around playing and interacting with each other brought a warm smile to my heart.  It makes me want to spread the word about this organization so that all families know that there is a place here in Amarillo that is family friendly and inviting to anyone.  There are so many activities to do and it is not expensive at all, the max is $3 but   that is a donation.  I saw teenagers interacting and playing with the younger children. This organization is not just run by adults there is a younger staff helping out and they have so many ideas to help improve their facility and Amarillo as well.

“Piaget believed that children’s moral judgements build on their cognitive development” (Myers, 2014 pg. 142). The AAYC organization is focused on the children, it helps them to understand that this is a place where they can go and feel safe and be able to grow in their development.  By seeing and experiencing a good environment it will make their little minds hake good moral judgements. “One way we learn is by association: (Myers, 2014 pg 238) Everyone learns by example of other people. Children are easily influenced either it is good or bad, but the AAYC is a good place to see that there are good things to experience.  By having volunteers who are willing to give their time up to help other children/adults and paving programs to help benefit both is a wonderful community enter.

I believe I will continue volunteering, it was a different experience that made me realize that I can Make a difference even if it is something small. I would like to see how much more this organization can expand in helping children and this community.  Matt Hite and his fellow volunteers have done a wonderful job providing for this establishment and I would like to see it grow even more.  Mabey from me staying and helping out I can use my ideas to make a new program or just by getting more people involved so that no child has to roam the streets and that they can be in a place where they know they are safe and cared for.

By Ada Sanchez


General Psychology

March 7, 2016
















Lobsterfest 2015

The AAYC is excited to help the Amarillo Ara Adult Literacy Council and its event, Lobsterfest this year.

At the AAYC we are excited to reach-out and HELP non-profits in the area with free tickets to our Haunted House Attraction (Van Buren Frightmare).

If you work with a non-profit organization that could benefit from donated tickets to our haunted house PLEASE email us at info@amarilloyouth.net or call the AAYC directly 806 373-2292 and ask for Matthew Hite.

The AAYC (aka Van Buren Frightmare) Silent Auction for Lobsterfest, 20

The AAYC (aka Van Buren Frightmare) Silent Auction for Lobsterfest, 2015

AISD Partner in Education

AAYC official partner in Education with Amarillo Independent School District  in 2015-16 School year

This will be out 6th year in a row to partner with AISD and help our community by helping improve a school’s environment.  It is an honor for us to provide assistance to our school system.

This year our first project will be a School Supplies drive.   We will be collecting school supplies at the AAYC all summer to bring in to the school just before school starts.  We welcome any and all donations of school and office supplies so that we can help our 2015-16 Partner in Education. Parents we have also attached next years School calendar as a reference.

Most of our Board of Directors are VIP (Very Important People–AISD Volunteers) in our adopted school as we help on campus when possible.  Any of the AAYC team, parents and coaches that are interested in helping this year, please let us know.  Our coordinators for this are Matt Hite and LaRue Hite.  AISD will run an independent background check on  each person that is applying; we have the forms at the AAYC.

2015-16 AISD Partner in Education letter to Matt Hite Amarillo

2015-16 AISD Partner in Education letter to Matt Hite Amarillo

AISD 2015-16 School Calendar

AISD 2015-16 School Calendar

2015-16 AISD Partner in Education flyer

2015-16 AISD Partner in Education flyer

AAYC working with Coffee Memorial Blood Center

It feels great to know that we have helped save lives by hosting a Blood Drive at the AAYC.  Sat tunes to our FB page as we WILL have additional Blood drives at all our major events.  Thanks for the kind hand written card!

One of our Healthy Living Initiative goals at the AAYC is to REACH out into the Amarillo Community and help those in need.  Giving BLOOD does that and YOU can become a donor TODAY and help SAVE I life.

For more information about this great organization that the Amarillo Activity Youth Center is partnering with please check out their web-site at http://www.thegiftoflife.org/index.php

Check out their calendar of where the mobile Blood Drives are going to be! http://www.thegiftoflife.org/blooddrive/blooddriveGrid20156.html

Again THANK too all that ATTENDED the Kars4Kids Car,Truck and Bike Show and all those that helped save a life by DONATING BLOOD!

AAYC Coffee Memorial Blood Center

AAYC Coffee Memorial Blood Center

AAYC helps Coffee Memorial Blood Center-Note to LaRue Hite

AAYC helps Coffee Memorial Blood Center-Note to LaRue Hite

AAYC Receives 2015 Amarillo Award

Press Release



AAYC receives Amarillo Award for Youth Orgainizations

AAYC receives Amarillo Award fr non-profit youth organizations; 3 years in a row

Amarillo Award Program Honors the Achievement

AMARILLO June 4, 2015 — AAYC (Amarillo Activity Youth Center) has been selected for the 2015 Amarillo Award in the Youth Organizations category by the Amarillo Award Program.

Each year, the Amarillo Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Amarillo area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Amarillo Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Amarillo Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Amarillo Award Program

The Amarillo Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Amarillo area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Amarillo Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Amarillo Award Program

2015 Kars4Kids Car, Truck and Bike Show

3rd Annual–Kars4Kids Car, Truck and Bike Show 

This great family event was help on June 5, 2015.  It was originally scheduled for May 23 but because of heavy flooding rains the event was postponed.  Our event Director was Rudy Rodriguez and Matthew Hite.  DJ Mike Megamix (Michael Potter) made his first appearance as the AAYC’s official DJ.  We had quite a few great vendors and a lot of local support at the event.  There were two other local car shows on the same day and a major Car Show in Albuquerque, NM as well but our event was a lot of fun and raise funds for the Amarillo Activity Youth Center.

Also we joined forces with Coffee Memorial Blood Center and did a blood drive at the event were 19 people presented themselves to donate blood.  It’s great to reach out and work with other great non-profits in Amarillo and to help SAVE a life with the gift of blood.

Click these links for more info

Ch4 Coverage myhighplains.com

Pictures from the event

Pictures of the Event from Amarillo Globe News 

You Tube Recap Video

The 2016 Kars4Kids Event will be on June 11, 2016.  Mark your calendars now!

2015 Kars4kids Car, bike and truck Show

2015 Kars4kids Car, bike and truck Show

AAYC Kars4kids Car Show

2015 Kars4Kids Car, truck and Bike Show, hosted by the AAYC. Picture by Matt Hite

2015 Kars4Kiids Car, Truck and Bike Show

2015 Kars4Kids Car, truck and Bike Show, hosted by the AAYC. Picture by Matt Hite

2015 Karing4kids Child Abuse Prevention Rally and Walk


April 11th 2:00-5:00 PM  816 S Van Buren Amarillo, TX 79101

AAYC Child Safety Initiative

AAYC Child Safety Initiative Take a stand with us against Child Abuse

News coverage:
Interview with Matt Hite
Myhighplains.com Coverage


Multiple non-profit agencies teamed up today to promote child abuse prevention month at the Amarillo Activity Youth Center.

April is child abuse prevention month and the Amarillo Activity Youth Center held their second annual rally for child abuse prevention today.

13 different non-profit organizations came together with the AAYC to put on this rally for the prevention of child abuse.

These organizations each had a separate booth in the gym at the AAYC where they helped spread awareness.

Matt Hite the Executive Director of AAYC says, “they say one in six females have had some sort of abuse, one of the four. And they say one in ten males have”.

The day began with children dancing to their favorite music, while others were designing banners that would be used later when the group marched down tenth street to spread awareness of how prevalent child abuse is in our country.

Christine Bollinger who’s the Intake Coordinator for Bair Foundation (one of the non-profits helping) says, “it’s wonderful.
This is a great event, there are lots of kids inside there’s music and games and a bounce house and there will be a walk later to promote the prevention of child abuse”.

2015 karing4kids Rally and Walk

AAYC’s 2015 karing4kids Rally and Walk

The group of nearly 2-hundred children and adults then hit the streets with their plan to spread the word about the importance of their cause.

Officials at the rally focused on the four different kinds of child abuse; emotional, physical, sexual, and neglect.

Before interview with Matthew Hite, Executive Director


Event Coverage


Event details
Child Safety Initiative

Puns for Educated Minds

Puns for Educated Minds
The AAYC would like to help enlighten our readers.  The topic of puns has come up with the youth at the AAYC from time to time.  Here are a few catchy puns that we thought we should share.
1. The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Circumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
 3. She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12.Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
17. A backward poet writes inverse.

18. In a democracy it’s your vote that counts.  In feudalism it’s your count that votes.
19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you’d be in Seine .
21. A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’
22. Two fish swim into a concrete wall.  One turns to the other and says, ‘Dam!’
23. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that  you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve  lost my electron.’ The other says, ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’
25. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal?  His goal: transcend dental medication.
26. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns
would make them laugh. No pun in ten did. 

How close it too Close… by Matt Hite

Ok first off, I am bound by a legal agreement NOT to say anything negative about 6th Street massacre, Chainsaw Massacre or the owner of both properties Michael Fisher (ie MCF Management, ie drugassistant.com) but I do need to set a few things straight as this page has said and implied many things.

A few years ago there was a lawsuit between Amarillohaunts and Mike Fisher of 6th Street Massacre. The lawsuit was settled out of court and no one won. There was a compromise and in the compromise we all agreed NOT to talk about the other haunts or their owners and that we would NOT sell a group pass anymore. As an honorable person I will hold to my word, even if others do not and I will not use other profiles or ask others to defend me. I have no reason to; people will speak their minds as they wish; some without full knowledge of a situation.

About the article written in 2009; if you actually read the Amarillo Globe News article that they are using to gain followers and keep people from coming to a competing Haunted House downtown, Van Buren Frightmare. There was NO SEXUAL contact of any kind. The assault was a touch to the belly with a practice fencing sword and that is all. The article doesn’t say anything but hearsay and what one minor stated in a police report. That was a statement in an investigation, no fact. I left AISD in good standings, I still have a valid Texas Teachers Certificate and I’m registered as a volunteer (VIP) with AISD currently. I’m not listed in any type of registry because there is NO REASON for me to be listed. In the article the Boy Scout leaders defended me as well. This article was loosely written to let your imagination run wild with what “could have been” and this FB page has spend a lot of time and energy trying to help twist you to thinking negatively. There are hundreds and hundreds of people on the sex registry in Amarillo. I advise everyone to check the registry out, look for my name (not there) and check so you know possible issues in your neighborhood.

Lastly, I am NOT the owner of the AAYC or of Frightmare; that’s another mistruth. The AAYC is a 501C3 non-profit ran by a board of directors and they have chosen me as one of their leaders. I would not be in a position of responsibility here at the AAYC, several other non-profit board of directors and respected throughout Amarillo as a leader and child advocate if my character was not above reproach.

The AAYC is ran 100% by volunteers for the youth of Amarillo. No one at the AAYC gets paid. 1000s of youth, 100s of parents and many more people throughout our great community have and are involved at the AAYC and they know the real me and the all know that the AAYC is a safe place for our youth. They also know that the AAYC is a great organization and that one group targets me personally because it makes them feel good, most can see it’s because they are a competing haunt that has a vendetta against us.

I hope this helps set the record straight and as proof I’m NOT the one causing trouble here I have rated this haunted house in the middle (3 stars) because I know Mr. Fisher does a good job scaring people. I’m bound by a legal settlement listed above or I’d talk about his personality and character.

Sorry for this short novel and thanks for your time. If you have any questions please feel free to send me a message or comment and yes I’m sure they will try to rip this up; its ok I’m accustom to it at this point.

Matt Hite
AAYC Director

Predator 101 By Angie

Hey guys! It’s been a crazy few weeks, but the blog is back and so are some great information and safety tips on online predators! This information is invaluable not only to kiddos, but also to parents as well. As parents, we sometimes feel overwhelmed at the bombardment of sexual content that infiltrates our children’s lives through media outlets. It comes in the form of advertisements and magazines and movies and even in the music they listen to. One place we do have control however, is online. By using a few safety measures and keeping a watchful eye, we as parents can limit the possibility that our children will become online predator victims.

Great Angie. Let’s do this. But, how do we know who is a predator and who isn’t? They should stand out pretty easy right? After all, they are all perverted old men right? Not exactly. Online predators blend into everyday society as any other person. Most predatory pedophiles are white, male, and middle aged right?  Online predators can be any race, age, or shockingly, any gender. They hold any kind of job, even respectful jobs, like doctors and lawyers. However, hope is not lost. They do share some common traits that may help you identify them.

  • They appear trusting at first.
  • Pretend to share interests with targeted victims.
  • Take part in children’s activities.
  • Look for emotionally vulnerable children.
  • May pretend to be someone they are not.
  • May be very good at Internet lingo.
  • Will become more provocative as victim begins to trust.

The dangers of an online predator can extend beyond sexual deviance. Other dangers can include Identity theft, sexual solicitation, pornography or exposure to pornography, and even kidnapping and rape. Identity theft occurs when the predator tries to get personal information from the victim such as social security numbers, addresses, birthdates, and the like. Teach your kids to never give out personal information. Teach them that what goes on the Internet, STAYS on the Internet. Solicitation is usually started in chat rooms or social media sites. After a connection is made, they try to meet the minor for sex. Parents need to use parental controls and keep in mind that 44% of solicitations come from children under 18 years old. By using seemingly harmless information such as school mascot and town or even just metro area, a predator can find a child. Through a social networking page, this information is usually readily available. Once this information is put together, the predator can track the victim and perpetrate heinous crimes such as kidnapping and rape against the victim. I have seen stickers on the back of cars that not only list the soccer club of children, but their names, team names, and jersey numbers as well. Game schedules are listed online. This is a terribly dangerous thing to broadcast. Anyone can find these children and the parents would be none the wiser. Please parents use common sense when protecting your children. Each trip to the mall you take with your children, one person notices them. If your children are older, they have been followed at least once. These are terrifying facts, and my goal is not to scare, but to arm you with knowledge. Knowledge truly is power.

So, now that you will never take a trip to the mall again, you are asking me, “What can I do to protect my children Angie? How do I keep them safe?” First, teach your kids to be aware of the dangers. Teach them to know the signs and characteristics of predators. Second, get involved and stay involved. Dig deep into the online community and know what is happening. Know the red flags and look for them often. Keep computers usage to common areas such as a kitchen table or living room so children are easily monitored. Third, set boundaries. Set time limits, strict friend guidelines, open communications about actions on social sites and maybe a “no deletion” policy. Finally, everything has parental controls nowadays. Use them.

Common Statistics to be aware of:

  • The majority of internet crimes are initiated in chat rooms
  • In 82% of online sex crimes against minors, the offenders used social networking sites to gain access about the victims likes and dislikes.
  • 65% used victim’s social networking sites to gain home and school information about the victim.
  • At least 100 million BOYS and 200 million girls will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood.
  • 26% of online predators used the victims social networking sites to gain information of the victim’s whereabouts at a specific time.
  • 1 in 7 kids received a sexual solicitation online.
  • 56% of those kids were asked to send in picture and 27% of those pictures were requested to be sexual in nature.
  • 44% of sexual solicitors were under the age of 18.
  • When a solicitor attempted to meet a victim offline in person or via phone call, 73% met their perpetrators online.
  • And finally, the more risky behaviors kids engage in online, the more likely they will be approached or receive an online solicitation.

Parents, please inform your kids of the real risks of online information sharing and who is ok to interact with. This is a real problem and together we can protect our children and bring light to this terrifying problem. We must be vigilant in protecting our children and the biggest thing we can do for them is to stay INVOLVED.

Find safe places like the AAYC for you children to be at night so that they are not left to find something to “get into”
Until next time AAYC!