Those raising money to renovate the aging Millbrae Scout House into a community youth recreation center surpassed their goal this weekend — and now, volunteers can focus on construction.
Renovating the community space is a joint effort between the Millbrae Lions Club, the Millbrae Elementary School District and the city that has been ongoing for some time. Under the agreement, funds for the renovation needed to be raised no later than Sept. 30. Originally, the estimated cost was $200,000, most of which was met through community partnerships and donations. Over the weekend, the Spirit of Aloha, a tropical-themed evening featuring food and wine, silent and live auctions, put the group over the goal. The goal was to raise at least $15,000 since the Lions Club had offered a $15,000 matching grant as a community challenge to secure the rest of the needed money.
"We easily met the target,” said Richard Chinn, community services director for the Millbrae Rotary Club, who added the total count is still being finalized.
The festive event brought together people from various city groups including volunteers from the Millbrae High School Interact Club. To keep with the airport theme, Dorene Goad of World Wings International, a former Pan American flight attendant, welcomed people as they joined the festivities, said Chinn.
Frank Barbaro, Millbrae Elementary School District trustee, was excited the community reached the goal. The updated facility, he said, will be a benefit for after-school programs.
The proposed Millbrae Community Youth Center, known to most as the Scout House, was built in 1954 for $16,000 through a largely volunteer effort, labor and donated materials. It sits on school district property on the southeast corner of Taylor Middle School.
The school district, Lions Club and city signed an agreement to raise funds for the renovation by Jan. 1, 2012, which was since extended. Once raised, the money will be used to make repairs and upgrades to restore the usefulness of the structure. The city will then take over the space as a home for youth-focused activities.
Work has already been started. Last year, Rebuilding Together, a Redwood City nonprofit that partners with businesses to rehabilitate community organization facilities or the homes of those in need, selected the Millbrae Community Youth Center as a renovation project. With the help of material donations and volunteers coordinated with the help of IFMA, International Facility Management Association, the Scout House now has updated flooring, interior and exterior paint and lighting. In addition, an entrance ramp was installed. New doors and windows were recently installed, furnishings and equipment were also donated. But the building still needs a new roof, seismic bracing and a new heating system. With the fundraising goal met, now the volunteers will begin to start the process of finishing remodeling.
Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.