Anthony Bateman Youth Center now open in Tifton

Anthony Batman Youth Center in Tifton is officially open. City leaders held a ribbon-cutting...
Anthony Batman Youth Center in Tifton is officially open. City leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday to kick off the new addition.(walb)
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 8:13 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Anthony Batman Youth Center in Tifton is officially open.

City leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday to kick off the new addition.

The building was named after Anthony Bateman, a coach at Tift County Schools who was well-known in the community for his positive influence on children in Tift County.

Bateman passed in August 2019 while attending a basketball tournament. Many described him as the epitome of a great man.

This is Tifton’s first ever center that is centered around leading children in the community on the right path. They will be able to experience everything from learning seminars to hands-on career workshops.

Executive Director Dr. Tonja Tift said she’s looking forward to encouraging children to stay on a positive route.

“He was just the epitome of a person that worked with kids. Although he had no biological children of his own, he is the father to many kids here in our school system and the kids just loved him. We loved him,” Tift said of Bateman.

The building is across from Matt Wilson Elementary School. It will also serve as an after-school program with other organizations like the YMCA and Tift County Recreation Center.

“Please know this is not the end. This is just the beginning of multiple years of support that we’re going to need because we have to invest in our youth, period,” Tift said.

In a separate room, Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County will provide remedial reading, GED and financial literacy classes for adults.

Community leaders said they’re looking forward to starting a legacy.