by DAWN BRINKER Contributing Writer
| May 19, 2021 1:00 AM
What does community mean to the Memorial Community Center?
Today I can say “We are stronger than ever.” We know just how important our Memorial Community Center is to the lives of our residents. Isolation can be a problem for rural communities without a place to meet and socialize, particularly during the winter months when driving to Sandpoint can be challenging for seniors. And we can never emphasize enough just how essential our Preschool is to our young parents and their children.
We have parents who attended the Preschool themselves now sending their children. Last year we gave out two college scholarships to two students who attended the Preschool. This is the kind of continuity that creates a sense of belonging. This year we want to expand the number of preschool children enrolled.
So what does community and this sense of belonging mean to Hope?
Everything! Our community depends on having a place to meet for disseminating important information to the community, an area for assembling around a need or cause. Our facility is booked for wedding showers, memorial services and other private parties. Our small groups like our quilters, art studio, yoga, fitness, AA, and Gardeners Gathering bring people with shared interests together.
Our larger events bring in more people to share and just have fun. In June we are sponsoring a bingo night on the lake. In August a wine tasting gathering at another lakeside home. In July, there will be a music night with hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks at the community center. And everyone will be happy to hear that in September our annual Oktoberfest will resume. There are other events scheduled and in the works so we hope everyone will check out our website www.memorialcommunitycenter and click on events.
We have been fortunate to find board members wiling to donate their time and energy Our seven board members bring an array of talent and enthusiasm. Our volunteers are essential to our survival and we are so fortunate to have so many wonderful people providing their time to the community. We are always on the outlook for participants, and people with new ideas. We recognize how important it is that our community center stay relevant to the lives of our residents and to the extent that we are able to identify and meet the needs of our community we believe we will continue for a long time into the future.
As more and more of our community becomes vaccinated we are seeing more people ready to join groups and participate in events. We are looking forward to the next few months as the weather warms and as we as a community once again are able to see each other’s faces and give out those big hugs we’ve all missed. We are a stronger and better community today. Our doors are open. We are grateful and we are proud of the bonds of community we continue to form together.
Dawn Brinker is a member of the Memorial Community Center