ST. PETERSBURG — Sixteen-year-old Davonte Cocroft and his friend Ameen Nurul-Haqq, 15, sat in the recording studio at the Royal Theater and Arts Academy at 1011 22nd St. S practicing their latest beat, Snappin.’

“Fire it up,” Davonte told Ameen, who turned to the mixing console and started singing to a beat his friend had mixed himself.

The pair, along with several friends, take music classes after school at the Royal Theater, one of 11 Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast locations in Pinellas County.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the organization, starting with its first location in Pinellas Park.

A celebration will be held Saturday at the Sirata Beach Resort at St. Pete Beach. The theme “Be Groovy” is in honor of the 1960s, when area Boys and Girls Clubs first took off.

“The purpose of Boys and Girls Club is development of young people so that they can achieve their best role in society,” said Carl Lavender, executive director. “That hasn’t changed. It’s the same today and 50 years ago.


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