DAWN BRINKER Contributing Writer
March 31, 2021 1:00 AM
The Memorial Community Center and Preschool in Hope began 2021 very hopeful and excited about this coming year. We have already received a $25,000 matching fund donation from Craig and Ellen Langel. This will help us augment our financial strength, create more programming possibilities and make improvements to our facility.
Even though 2020 was a challenging year with less socialization and community gatherings we still managed to have a productive one made possible by the tremendous support we received from our community. This confirms to us the commitment we all share to our objective of providing a community space and preschool for educational, cultural and social purposes.
Our preschool remained open with 8 students and their beloved teacher Miss Mona (Mona Naglreiter ). We received a grant from The Idaho Future Fund allowing us to provide scholarships to several students. Everyday we witness the children’s progress. Kindergarten teachers tell us that the preparation our preschool children receive puts them ahead of the other students entering kindergarten who have not had this advantage. This confirms our belief that the value of Preschool cannot be overestimated . With this in mind our goal this year is to increase our class to 12 students and potentially add a preschool aid.
Small groups continued to meet this past year including the Quilters, the Senior Fitness, Yoga, and AA . The 4 H club held its annual Tailgate Sale. The Quilters continued to sponsor their annual retreat and Stash Sale. Look for these to continue this year.
A Gardeners Group was initiated in the summer and will start up again this April. We also provide space for private clubs to meet, such as a wine tasting group. We encourage other groups to consider renting our space.
New flooring will be installed in the main hall at the end of March thanks to the generous Grant from STCU. This will make the center an even more inviting venue.
Because we had to minimize large gatherings this past year we decided to host smaller events called Third Wednesdays during the summer months. These outdoor events included food, barbecues, wine, beer, music and raffles. It allowed people to join their neighbors for some socialization with safe protocols in place.
In September we sponsored a wine tasting event at a waterfront home which was especially popular. We plan to resume these Third Wednesday events beginning in June. We also plan to host another wine tasting event at the end of the summer.
Oktoberfest which has always been a favorite of so many was cancelled last fall but we are moving forward with plans for this fall.
In December we will end the year with a festive Christmas Party for the Community and host our annual Christmas Giving Program.
As a nonprofit The Memorial Community Center is supported by donations and grants. Our Board consists of 7 volunteers. Everything that happens is built on the enthusiasm and participation of our Friends of MCC. We welcome everyone to join us with your ideas and energy. Become a friend. Our motto is “We are as strong as we are many.“
Dawn Brinker is a member of the Memorial Community Center and Preschool’s board of directors.