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Boring's dream: a community center


In its formative year, the group is asking for ideas from the people it will serve

More than one person has said that dreams do come true.

For the past year, a small group of people in Boring has been preparing, planning and dreaming.

In their dreams they see a multi-generational community center serving the greater Boring area, which includes central Boring, Cottrell, Kelso and Barton.

Remember, dreams do come true.

That small group of people is called the board of directors, and they will make their plans known at a meeting Oct. 24 of the Boring Oregon Foundation, which is the fundraising group for the community center.

The meeting’s theme, said Board Chairman Norm Rice, is “Help Define the Dream.”

Since there is no Boring community center, the meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the Boring-Damascus Grange Hall in downtown Boring. But Rice says the doors will be open an hour earlier for early arrivals who want to speak with individual board members.

The board has been working for the past year to get the tax ID number and an application completed for 501(c)3 nonprofit status as well as locate some seed money and define a direction for the foundation.

Board members include Rice, president; Peter Kappertz, vice-president; Stephen Bates, secretary; Monika Gartner, treasurer; Kathleen Newbill and D.W. Owens, directors at large.

Now, board members want to inform the community about what they have been doing for the past year and give local residents opportunities to be of service toward the group’s mission.

That mission is mainly fundraising. The board wants to establish and maintain a fund to build and operate the center.

It may sound simple, but it will take several committees of local residents who believe a community center will serve their needs and their neighbors’.

Rice said each committee should reflect the interests of its members, and committee interests could range from arts to education to grant writing and community involvement.

But there’s more to the plan than just forming committees. Their purpose is to help determine the interests and needs of those who live in Boring.

“This is not just about a building,” Rice said. “It’s about a community coming together to decide the kinds of programs we should be doing now (before building the center) to involve the community. It’s about building community without the building.”

In the building, however, initial ideas have suggested that it should contain a library, an office for sheriff’s deputies, an art studio and space for a private school as well as other uses.

Rice said the board is expecting that the building would cost between $2 million and $3 million.

To fund the building and its land would require grants, endowments, gifts and fundraising activities.

A few gifts have been received, and the recent raffle for a trip to Scotland netted the foundation about $7,000. But those small amounts are, as Rice says, “only a drop in the bucket” of what is needed.

The 501(c)3 application has not been finally approved yet, so the board is accepting pledges that will be received and become tax-deductible donations when the nonprofit status is approved.

Since the foundation is a fundraising group, its board not only needs grant writers, but also people with ideas that will bring success in raising money for noble purposes.

Rice and the other board members are asking Boring residents to come to the meeting and offer ideas as well as discover where they might find interest in the foundation’s activities.

“Come to the meeting and get involved in the process,” Rice said. “We need the community to take an active part. That will make this happen a lot sooner.”

For more information, call Rice at 503-789-1246.