The new ‘Dawg’ in town

Don “Duck’ Drake loves where he lives. He has resided in Kettle Falls his whole life and has no plans to leave. As a result of that familiarity, he is well aware of the antics people, specifically young people, can get drawn into when they are feeling the occasional monotony of small town life. “People need something to do other than abuse alcohol and drugs,” says Drake, sitting at a table in the recently opened Dawg Pound Activity Center (DPAC). “We want this place to be that alternative. Kids and adults can come here and just hang out. I consider this place to be like Switzerland---neutral, no drama. Leave all that at the door.” The Dawg Pound Activity Center (formerly Ralph’s Tavern) is an alcohol, drug free establishment located at 550 Meyer Street in Kettle Falls. It’s open Monday through Saturday form noon to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and noon until midnight Friday-Saturday. Both teens and adults can come in and relax, study, and/or just visit. There are wifi, karaoke, pool tables and arcade games for entertainment and pop, coffee and other refreshments are available. The front door is adorned with the message, “Come in as guests, and leave as friends.”Halloween party coming up Monday Drake serves as the center’s Assistant Manager/Activities Director. The center is mostly run by volunteers, which include teenagers from the community. His goal is to eventually get the center to stand on its own as a non-profit organization and align it with Rachel’s Challenge, a nationwide program inspired by the first victim of the Columbine shootings that provides teens and parents to deter bullying. “We are really into abolishing bullying,” states Drake, who was picked on himself as a child. “When kids come in here, I’m really big on instilling respect for everyone, even if you don’t like them.” Though the center has only been open for almost three weeks, Drake says its hospitality is already catching on. The welcome will continue with a Halloween party on Monday, Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be a haunted house in the center’s courtyard, along with karaoke, a costume contest, face painting and games. The event is open to children and adults. “The goal here is not to get rich,” Drake says of his core reasoning behind opening the DPAC. “And I know it will never be everything to everyone, but hopefully, people will see it as a place for the community to gather and have fun and be safe. Whether you’re 10 months old or 70 years old, if you can breath, come on in.” For more information about DPAC, or to inquire about volunteering or making a donation, call Drake at 509-675-8651.