The Washburn Community Center has benefitted from a facelift in recent months, and with an increase in the use of the facility, financial help is needed to keep the non-profit organization that operates the building afloat.
The building, which was built in 1818 and once served as home to the Washburn Post Office, operated as the Washburn Senior Citizens Building from Oct. 17, 1978, until June 13, 1996, when the seniors donated the building to the City of Washburn.
On April 2, 1998, the Washburn Community Citizens Group purchased the building from the city for $1,000. Since that date, the building has been used as a community center and maintained by the citizens group.
Since August of last year, the board has embarked on an extensive interior and exterior renovation, which has included painting the outside of the building, re-painting the sign, rebuilding the front porch and installing additional cabinetry.
Area businesses that have donated to the renovation project include: Varner's Kwik Stop, Freedom Bank, True Value, TH Rogers, Rose Enterprises, Bank of Washburn, Eagan's Supply, Walmart and Willis Insurance.
Area citizens who have donated their time to complete the renovation work include Greg Alley, Kara Hendrix, Montana Hendrix, Kati and Pete Rose, Laura Scott, Mike Vining and several members of the Southwest Trapshooting Team.
"Now we're running short on funds to pay some of the everyday bills, such as propane and electric," said Kati Rose, treasurer of the Community Center Board. "With increased use of the building comes increased expenses.
"We also want to make the building more cost efficient by replacing the windows and doors and installing some type of sliding curtain that would give us the ability to section off the banquet area when the building is not in use and save on heating costs," Rose added.
Donations made to the Washburn Community Center are tax deductible. Contributions can be mailed to: Washburn Community Center, P.O. Box 261, Washburn, MO 65772.
The building is currently used on a monthly basis by the Washburn Chamber of Commerce and the Christian Motorcycle Club. In addition, the facility is used for birthday parties, family gatherings and baby showers as well as community dinners. Just this year, the Center became the official polling place for Washburn area voters.
No rental fees are charged, but donations for use of the facility are accepted. According to the community center's budget for 2009, it costs approximately $2,913 to keep the facility open throughout the year, which averages out to approximately $243 a month.
Members of the Washburn Community Center Board of Directors include: Laura Scott, president; Debbie Scott, vice president; Sherry Cox, secretary; and Kati Rose, treasurer.