Actor and Lake Stevens native Chris Pratt. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Actor and Lake Stevens native Chris Pratt. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

New teen center to be named in honor of actor Chris Pratt’s father

LAKE STEVENS — The Hollywood leading man who helped raise money for the new teen center here did so in memory of one of the leading men in his life.

The teen center at the Lake Stevens Boys &Girls Club, which is expected to open this spring, is being named in memory of Dan Pratt. His youngest son, Chris Pratt, is an actor who has starred in movies such as “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World.” His newest movie, “Passengers,” is out this week.

Earlier this year, Chris Pratt participated in a fundraiser for the teen center. Raffle tickets, sold for $10 apiece, bought people a chance to win a trip to the “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” set.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, Pratt presented a check for $500,000 from the fundraiser. That’s part of a $885,000 total, which includes $120,000 in state support and money gathered locally before and after the Pratt fundraiser. It’s enough to build a teen center nearly double the size the club originally had planned.

Chris Pratt is working with the Boys &Girls Club to help local kids and honor his dad, “a pillar of the community,” he said in an email Tuesday. Dan Pratt was tough, stubborn and funny. He was a natural leader and full of love. He taught his youngest son about humor, the value of hard work and how to fish.

Originally from northern Minnesota, Dan Pratt worked mostly as a remodeling contractor. He liked to coach his kids in sports and he “lived to work,” Chris Pratt said. The family moved to Lake Stevens in 1987, when Chris, the youngest of three siblings, was in elementary school.

Chris Pratt graduated in 1997 from Lake Stevens High School, where he is remembered as the funny kid who made students and teachers laugh with clever skits and impersonations. Last year, he shared a childhood photo of himself and his brother posed with their dad during a fishing trip. The message that accompanied the photo on Twitter read: “Your to do list: 1) have kids 2) play outside 3) teach them to fish 4) take pictures. Thanks Dad. Miss you man.”

Dan Pratt died in 2014. He’d suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Chris Pratt comes back to Lake Stevens periodically, he said. It’s gotten a lot bigger than the Lake Stevens he remembers from childhood, and in many ways it seems to be more dangerous for kids, he said.

“There’s heroin in our school. I can’t believe it,” he said. “Which is a huge reason why I wanted to create a safe space where teens can spend time when their parents are working. Keep them away from temptation and trouble.”

The new center is designed to be 2,800 square feet. While connected to the main building at 1609 E Lakeshore Drive, it will be self-contained so teens have their own space, said Bill Tsoukalas, executive director of Boys &Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. There are plans for a snack bar, computer stations and a studio where teens can watch or create their own movies. There also might be a small recording studio so they can make music.

Chris Pratt said he hopes the center provides a welcoming place for kids to explore their creativity. As a teen in Lake Stevens, he spent his time fishing, shooting his BB gun, playing outside, playing sports, rollerblading and working.

In the email, Pratt shared his advice for young people in Lake Stevens: “Embrace boredom. That is how you learn to be creative. Be yourself. Distance yourself from those who would attempt to bring you down.”

In 2014, Pratt told The Daily Herald that his childhood in Lake Stevens shaped who he is now.

“I cling really tightly to my roots,” he said, noting that he feels lucky to have grown up in Snohomish County. His wife, actress Anna Faris, shares his love of the area. She’s from Edmonds.

A friend and former coach, Michael Hodgins, reached out to Chris Pratt with a request to help with the teen center.

“It appealed to me immediately,” Pratt said.

The movie star is a genuine, sincere and humble person who has never forgotten where he grew up, Tsoukalas said Tuesday after the groundbreaking.

Construction on the teen center is set to start in January. The goal is to open it before summer break.

The Lake Stevens Boys &Girls Club still is raising money for upgrades to the rest of the building, including a new roof, paint, furniture and other cosmetic updates. The goal is $1.2 million total.

The club opened in 2004. There were about 700 kids signed up as members that year, Tsoukalas said. Now, there are more than 2,200.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This undated photo, provided by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, shows U.S. Army Cpl. Benjamin Bazzell, 18, of Seymour, Conn., killed during the Korean War, who has been identified. The remains of Bazzell and other soldiers were turned over by North Korea to the U.S. in 2018 following a meeting between then-President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency via AP)
Remains of Everett woman’s brother killed in Korean War identified

The Army corporal went missing in action during the conflict in 1950.

Riaz Khan speaks at the groundbreaking at the site of the Islamic Center of Mukilteo that he helped spearhead over the last seven years on Saturday, March 6, 2021 in Mukilteo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
All faiths invited to Saturday meeting for Mukilteo mosque

Construction is to begin in April. Pledges of $800,000 are needed to complete the project.

Brian Holtzclaw (left) and Tim Schmitt.
Recount confirms Holtzclaw’s re-election to Mill Creek council

In Stanwood, a machine recount validated Tim Schmitt’s defeat of City Councilwoman Judy Williams.

No one was injured in a fire that caused more than $200,000 damage to a commercial building in Edmonds early Wednesday morning. (South County Fire)
Fire damages former Edmonds Family Fun Center building

There were no injuries and the cause was not immediately clear.

William Talbott II pleads his innocence before a judge sentences him to life with out parole at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Everett, Wash. A Snohomish County judge sentenced William Talbott II to life in prison without parole, for murdering a young Canadian couple in 1987. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cold-case murder conviction reversed due to juror’s bias

William Talbott, the world’s first convicted forensic genealogy defendant, was accused of killing a young Canadian couple in 1987.

Driver hits pedestrian on U.S. 2 trestle near Lake Stevens

The man, 56, was walking westbound near the Highway 204 interchange when he tried to cross the lanes.

Man identified after fatal fall from Arlington cell tower

Michael Vasquez, 24, of Las Vegas, fell about 140 feet while working Saturday afternoon.

A map of alternative routes and stations for the Sound Transit light rail extension from Lynnwood to Everett. (Sound Transit)
City of Everett outlines light rail priorities for 2037

Per a letter to Sound Transit, the mayor and planning director say they want four stations open as soon as possible.

Dr Chris Spitters (center), Interim Health Officer, makes makes his address Monday evening during a Special Meeting of the Snohomish Health District Board of Health at the Administration Builiding in Everett on March 2, 2020.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Chris Spitters, Snohomish County’s chief health officer, to step down

The physician who has been the official voice of the pandemic here says his departure is not work-related.

Most Read