North Tulsa Community Center Planned As Tribute

Saturday, June 27th 2009, 5:16 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa family is using their son's tragic death as motivation to help other teens.

Jake Trent was shot and killed in May when he answered the door at a friend's house.

His parents say a new community center could help other parents from feeling the same pain.

For them, it's all about curbing the violence. Jason and Cantrice Trent say it has to stop in north Tulsa and they plan to give teens a place to go and get off the street.

Through dance and song, a celebration was underway Saturday on North Peoria.

The party served to bring the community together and honor a young man whose life ended at age 18.

"He brought laughter to the family. He was a man of integrity," said Cantrice Trent, Jake's mother.

Cantrice and Jason Trent's son died May 12th. Jake Trent was visiting a friend, playing dominoes, when he answered the door to gunfire.

"Losing our son was a very tragic thing, but we're going to turn that tragedy into a triumph by opening this youth center in his honor," said Jason Trent, Jake's father.

5/14/2009 Related Story: Father Of Slain Tulsa Teen Speaks Out

The Trent's triumph now is turning a former grocery store into the Generation of Destiny Community Center. They envision a place for teens to hang out, stay safe and have fun.

"And just to bring children for a safe environment, a place of entertainment, a place of laughter, a place of joy, a place of mentor and a place where we can communicate with the children," said Cantrice Trent.

The centerpiece of the community center is a skating rink. Jake and his father loved to skate. The pair would spend their weekends skating together.

Now his skates serve as an offering plate, of sorts, as his family works to raise money to bring their own rink to a place in need.

"Our kids have nowhere to go on the north side of town. There's no movie theaters over here, there's no skating rink over here, there's nothing for our kids to do but get into trouble," said Jason Trent.

The Trent's say building the community center is the perfect way to fight through the pain of losing their son.

"We could not get just bogged down and depressed. We love our son, we miss him something terrible, but we had to get busy and try to turn this thing around," said Jason Trent.

Jake Trent's family will hold a special fundraiser called Skate 4 Jake at Broken Arrow Roller Sports beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 28.

Or you can stop by any Bank of Oklahoma branch to make a donation to the Jake Trent Memorial Fund.

All of the proceeds will go to building the community center.