RTHS students pose together after a football game earlier this season. 

RANTOUL — Children never want to go home on a Friday night after a football game, but parents want their kids to be safe. So where do they go? Pat Button has the answer. 

Every Friday night after a Rantoul Township High School home football game, Button, who is the youth director of the Rantoul United Methodist Church, hosts a  Friday Night Hangout, where youngsters can eat, dance and hang out with their friends.

“This is an all-around win for the kids and parents,” said Button, who is also a teacher at the high school. 

Button knows parents need to know where their child is, and knowing they are having fun on a Friday night while being safe is a plus.

“As a parent I know that it is comforting to know here your child is rather than wondering,” Button said.

But it is just as rewarding for the children to have somewhere their parents are comfortable with them being at on a Friday night.

“After an exciting game, the kids are pumped up and full of energy; they are not ready to just go home,” Button said. “This gives them an option to still have fun in a safe environment.”

On top of that, it helps Button’s numbers on Sunday for his weekly youth group.

“This is also an opportunity for me to promote my youth group here at the Methodist Church,” Button said.

The hangout runs from immediately following the football game until 11:30 p.m. 

Donations have been made for previous hangouts and are always accepted. To make a donation, you can email Button at

You can contact Ryan Birch at or on Twitter @RyanBirchRP