TOPEKA –  Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland today announced significant changes to the Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ) program that could increase participation in student loan repayments for people moving to rural Kansas counties.

Individuals who earn an associate degree or higher and move to a designated ROZ county they haven’t lived in for the preceding two years are eligible to have up to $15,000 in student loan debt repaid. Previously, individuals had to live elsewhere for the preceding five years to be eligible.

Commerce also clarified the language describing a student’s permanent residence. Rural residents who occupied a dorm room or apartment during college and kept their permanent address on their driver’s license as their parents’ residence, for example, no longer would be denied eligibility in the program when they returned to their home community following graduation.

“Kansas is ranked one of the top states in the nation for higher education, but then loses too many graduates who pursue career opportunities in other states,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said . “Ensuring more students can utilize the Student Loan Repayment Program is critical to keeping and bringing our young talent back to their rural communities. These updates will make Kansas a more financially attractive option for graduates.”

The new rules will make it easier to participate in the program for individuals who complete required internships, practicums and residencies or are traveling nurses to remain in an ROZ county and establish permanent residency there.

Ensuring that there is a clear understanding of the revised regulations will help increase the number of eligible educated students that rural communities can court. An expanded pool of eligible sponsors for the program now includes employers, foundations, cities, chambers of commerce, Main Street organizations and other community or economic development groups that can utilize the incentive to recruit new workers to rural communities.

“We want to be able to incentivize these highly trained individuals to stay in our rural communities after they complete their training or education,” Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity Director Trisha Purdon said . “With so many students required to complete internships as part of their education, extending ROZ eligibility to include professional practicum experiences will help provide them with long-term employment opportunities in Kansas.”

The program will continue to offer a 100 percent state income tax credit if the eligible participant has not lived in Kansas or received Kansas-based income for the preceding five years.

The program application period is open annually from January 1 to September 30. To apply for student loan repayment assistance or to learn more about eligibility for the program, visit the ROZ website here.

A virtual webinar to explain the program changes will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 25. Potential applicants, sponsors, schools, cities, counties, foundations, economic development organizations and other employers recruiting workforce are encouraged to attend. 

Registration for the webinar is required. To register, click here.    

By Beccy Tanner

For 124 years, the Gray Photo Studio has overseen developments in downtown St. John.

Named after William R. Gray, the photographer who took photos in Stafford County for more than three-quarters of a century, the building has long been a landmark.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, but efforts to restore the building has often been a struggle and, at times, seemed to drag to a standstill.

That’s about to change.

Much work has already taken place on the exterior of the building. Now, work is ready to begin on the interior.

Late last year, the photo studio formed a partnership with Stafford County Economic Development Inc. and received a $50,000 grant from Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grant. In addition, there was a matching $50,000 loan from SJN Bank of Kansas.

Still, Long said, more funding is needed.

An online art auction has been scheduled for March 29th and 30th.

When work is completed – expected by the end of 2024 – it will become the Art Center at Gray Photo studio.

“We are going to sheet rock, paint and restore the woodwork,” said Carol Long, president for the Gray Studio Restoration board. “We will start on the kitchen and the bathrooms will be completed. We have one bathroom done — but even having walls up will be nice.”

Ten artists from all over have donated pieces of their art to be auctioned. They include:

Carol Long, Delvin Goode, Steven Hill, Holly Hendrick, Linda Ganstrom, Mike Stumbras, Sheldon Ganstrom and Taylor Craig.

Long said they hope to raise at least $20,000 with the auction to furnish the studio with kitchen appliances, furniture and other items.

The auction will be held through the platform Givebutter where you can also find more information about the artists and the art they are auctioning. The auction will go live March 29th at 5 p.m. and go until March 30th at 11:59 p.m. Go to https://givebutter.com/c/grayphotostudio to get signed up and ready for the auction.

“You don’t have to buy a piece of art to donate to our auction,” Long said. “You can just donate and help us match our funds.”

Local residents, Long said, can also donate to the fund through SJN Bank of Kansas by dropping off a check or mailing it to the bank at 116 E 3rd Ave., St. John, Ks. 67576 and putting Gray Photo Studio in the check memo.

Long said she is hopeful to have the studio open for visitors to view the building’s progress during town’s annual Jubilee celebration held Memorial Day weekend.

Renovation work isn’t expected to be completed by then – but it will give people a chance to chart the building’s progress.

William Gray took photos of almost every family in Stafford County from 1905 to 1947. He did so using wet plate photography and glass negatives. In Stafford, the history museum there has his collection of more than 30,000 glass negatives.

One of the most distinctive things about the building is the huge window that’s part of the building’s roof on the north side. It allowed for wonderful lighting in Gray’s photos.

Long gave credit for the building’s latest renovation efforts and funding to Stafford County Economic Development.

“If Ryan Russell (director of Stafford County’s Economic Development) hadn’t stepped forward and contracted with us to do all this fundraising and grant writing, we probably wouldn’t be moving this quickly,” Long said.

“So, with Eco Devo pushing us forward, we are going to finish this in 2024.”

By Beccy Tanner

Two teams and four St. John High School students are the county winners in this year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Ryer Ward, placed first in the contest, which was held Feb. 7 at the Stafford County Annex.

He receives $750 and a chance to compete at the state competition on April 16th at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

His entry was called “The Pocket Shop” and details a business that would make breakfast rolls or pockets with filling.

Second place winners are Garrett McAlister, Willow Murphy, and Uricke Engelbrecht for their entry of “Unraveling Fibers.” Their business would include a subscription service for crocheting and needlework projects.

They receive $500 and have a chance at applying to be a wild card team in the statewide contest.

To participate, students must submit an executive summary of a business proposal and do an in-person presentation.

Each team is then judged on their business’s marketability, niche, and ability to grow their company as well as model.

This year’s judges included: Lea Ann Seiler, from Network Kansas; Trisha Greene, 21st Central District K-State Extension; Angela Peterson, St. John-Hudson USD 350 elementary principal; and Ryan Russell, director of Stafford County Economic Development.

Stafford County Economic Development with funding from South Central Community Foundation hosted the local YEC competition and sponsors the students to attend the state-wide competition.

 EcoDevo is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to promote economic and population growth throughout the county by assisting local businesses, engaging in community activities, and promoting Stafford County as a great place to live, work, and play.

By Beccy Tanner

After being involved in education for nearly 30 years as both a teacher and principal, Jo McFadden decided to take a new direction in her life.

“I retired and this is my retirement gig,” McFadden said. “I was looking for a job. This came up on my radar and I thought it sounded like fun.

“I applied and here I am.”

Since August, the 55-year-old McFadden has served as the director of the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library in St. John.

She replaced Laura Davis as the director.

McFadden has been a life-long resident of Hutchinson and continues to live there with about a 50-minute commute back and forth each school day.

“I was going to pull my (retirement) papers because I had 85 points and could retire. But this (the St. John library position) is a KPERS job. So, I didn’t officially retire because I didn’t pull KPERS. I did retire from being a principal and decided I would keep on working.”

She taught middle school algebra and geometry for 11 years and was an elementary principal in Hutchinson for eight years; and then, principal at Inman Elementary in Inman for eight years.

“I have my master’s in administration and have taught college classes through Baker University and Newman University. I have presented at national conferences on a number of different topics … My areas of interest and skill include professional learning, curriculum, instruction and assessment and school improvement.”

Her hopes for the Ida Long Goodman Library are to increase programming, circulation, and services available to the community.

“We have two exciting things that are in the works right now that I think will be wonderful for our community,” McFadden said.

The first is a Digi Lab – where the library has installed a digital scanner so that patrons of the library can scan old photographs, negatives and slides – and save them digitally. It will evolve into a full Digi Lab where clients can bring in their DVD’s or VHS tapes and can digitize those, as well.

“Think of those little camcorder tapes – all kinds of things – that can now be digitized,” McFadden said. “So, we don’t lose those things that are so important. I know I have a ton of tapes from when my kids were little stored away. I can’t view them on anything. So, once we get those things in, the staff will be practicing on them and then, the community can come in and get their things transferred.”

Another program the library has just established is a premium family membership to Exploration Place in Wichita. The pass is free for area families to come and check out and then use for their entire family.

“So, they can go to Wichita and go to Exploration Place; go to the Dome Theater and see the science show and check out traveling displays,” she said.

She has also started an adult book club and scheduled a series of Lunch & Learns at the library in partnership with Stafford County Economic Development. Topics have included information for first time home buyers; Stafford County’s Exoduster legacy; services offered by the Stafford County Health Department; and Estate Planning.

As the director of St. John’s library, McFadden said her new position is – in some ways – like that of being a principal with all the administrative duties.

“There is the budgeting, staffing and just all the paperwork and programming,” she said.

In addition, she said there is one more added benefit:

 “I will say I have always loved to read and just being among all these books has been amazing.

 “I just can’t get enough.”

By: Ryan Russell

Gray Photo Studio (GPS) is soon to be renovated and will soon after open it’s art studio after receiving a $50,000 matching grant from Kansas Commerce Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) program.  SJN Bank of Kansas, which is always looking for ways to help develop Stafford County, has provided GPS with it’s match in the form of a loan.  Without the matching loan, the HEAL grant would not have been possible.

Stafford County Economic Development Inc. (SCEDI) has been working with GPS to develop a plan to complete the historical building.  SCEDI and GPS have a fiscal and administrative partnership.  The buildings renovations will start no later than April and be completed by the end of the year.  In March SCEDI and GPS are planning an online art auction that will benefit the GPS, with over 10 artists committed to donating pieces of art for the auction.

Stafford City Manager Jami Downing also applied on behalf of Stafford and received a HEAL Grant to renovate one of Stafford’s downtown buildings. See Governor Laura Kelly’s announcement of all the counties to receive the HEAL Grant. 

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/KSOG/bulletins/386bc8f

By Beccy Tanner

All through Stafford County, the signs of Christmas are upon us.

There’s the many arrays of lights on rooftops, decorated trees and best of all, community gatherings with food and Santas and all his volunteer helpers.

This Saturday, (Dec. 2), Macksville and St. John are both hosting celebrations.

Macksville’s “I’ll Be Gnome For Christmas” is an all-day event, Dec.2nd.

This is the town’s 16th annual Christmas community celebration.

The Lions Club Breakfast is from 6:30 to 9 am at the VIP Center. There is an open house at the Macksville library from 9 am to noon; and a vendor show at Body of Sole Fitness, 418 Gilmore.

And then, how can you not celebrate the holidays without a good Chili Cookoff and Cinnamon Roll Contest? This one is at Table Coffee Shop, 212 Main Street. Entries must be at the table by 11:30.

Stafford County Mills/Hudson Cream Flour have donated prizes for the top three places in the contest. The rules are that containers presented for judging can not have a participant’s name visible; chili needs to be in a crockpot and each contestant must present a minimum of six cinnamon rolls.

 Winners will be chosen by a public sampling at noon. Samples are $1 each.

May the best chef win.

From 2:30 to 4 pm, there will hot cocoa and treats at the SJN Bank of Kansas in Macksville; and during the same time period, Santa, a storytime and crafts will be at the Table Coffee Shop.

The Main Street Christmas Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. The line up begins at 5 pm at the South Elevator.

Then, at 6:30 pm, there will be a community supper at the Macksville Fire Station. Meat is being provided by SJN Bank of Kansas and prepared by the Macksville Fire Department.

 People are encouraged to bring a side dish. There will be door prizes and raffle items at the supper.

Around the Square in St. John—Dec.2nd.

Events start at 5 p.m. with the St. John Fireman and Auxiliary Soup Supper at the Shell building. The supper will continue until 7 p.m.

Freewill donations are accepted.

During that time, people can also have their pictures taken with Santa in the old Dillon’s building.

A hot cocoa and cider bar with popcorn and cookie decorating station will also be available as well as Letters to Santa and a Crafting Station.

Raffle tickets will be available in the Dillon’s building as well as vendors.

Tickets are $5 per ticket or 3 tickets for $10.

The drawing will be at 6:30 pm.

During this time, people are encouraged to bring gently used, clean, unbroken toys which can be donated to the Thrift Store.

The annual lighting of the Christmas decorations in the Square will be at 6 p.m.

Sponsors of the evening celebration include Golden Belt Beef Co., White’s Foodliner and Tiger Town Pizza.

Sunday, Dec. 3

St. John

The celebrations continue in St. John on Sunday when the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library Christmas Open House is from 2 to 4 pm.

Refreshments will be provided.

And then, Stafford County communities will take a small break from festivities – but only temporarily.

Saturday, Dec. 9

Stafford

The town of Stafford is hosting a Christmas Yard Decorating contest with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

 The City of Stafford also offers a Christmas light discount. You must have five strands of lights out to be eligible for a $30 discount on your bill. Must call or go into office to register your account for discount.

On Dec. 9th, from 8:30 am to 10 am – there will be a Kids Breakfast and Carnival at Stafford VFW, 301 s. Main.

From 1 to 4 pm, there will be a pop-up Vendors Market and Christmas in Stafford and Midwest Photography Christmas Pictures in the VFW along with a soup supper beginning at 5 p.m.

For those who would like a different change in the menu, the Stafford Senior Center is providing a spaghetti supper from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 16

Hudson’s Old Fashioned Christmas

Events begin at 5 p.m. with a soup supper at the town’s Community Hall. It will include gingerbread Christmas Lego scenes, a raffle, carriage rides and a Christmas Forest at the Old Hudson School.

In addition, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Hudson Firehouse will provide hot chocolate and a fire engine climb.

From 6 to 7 p.m., there will be a Santa visit at the SJN Bank of Kansas in Hudson.

At 7:30 pm, there will be an announcement of the contest winners; and, at 7:45 pm, the lineup begins for the lighted parade at the mill parking lot.

The parade begins at 8 p.m. followed by a firework finale, weather permitting.

Stafford

Sunday, Dec. 17th

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Pick up your Scavenger Hunt clues and popcorn at the Ritz Theatre.

The Frosty Bean Coffee Shop at 111 W. Broadway is hosting a Santa appearance from 1 to 4 p.m.

And, you have until 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18th, to turn in your sheets from the Scavenger Hunt.

Saturday, Dec. 30th

3 p.m. – Free kids movie at the Ritz Theater

6 p.m. Doors open, Stafford VFW, 301 S. Main

7 p.m. – Music Bingo – Oktoberfest Gives Back Event

2023 SCCF $5,000 Children’s Health Grant Recipient: 

City of Stafford: West Park Equipment Update 

2023 SCCF Community Grant Recipients: 

Lucille M. Hall Museum for Education and History: 

                       Isaac B. Werner Memorial Fireproof File Cabinet……………… $1,000  

USD 349 – Stafford Schools: Art Program Materials and Supplies……………. $1,000 

Macksville Middle School: Social Studies Books…………………………………….. $1,000  

Zenith Community Presbyterian Church:  

                      Stafford Ministerial Alliance Food Assistance Program……….. $1,500  

USD 350 – St. John-Hudson Schools:

                     Therapy Dog Training and Certification………………………………. $1,760 

Macksville City Library: Hometown Hospitality on Display Project………….. $1,395 

Nora E. Larabee Memorial Library: Computers………………………………………. $1,000 

St. John High School: Robotics Technology……………………………………………. $1,000 

USD 350 – St. John-Hudson Schools: Orff Instruments……………………………. $1,838 

Stafford County Core Community: Core Curriculum…………………………………. $680 

Macksville Grade School: Library Books……………………………………………….. $1,000 

Macksville Grace Church: Food Pantry and Necessities Nook Supplies……… $2,000 

City of Stafford: Uptown Sound System………………………………………………….. $1,462 

St. John Elementary School: STEAM Day Supplies………………………………….. $1,240 

St. John High School: Cameras……………………………………………………………….. $950 

Macksville High School: Leadership Workshop and Supplies…………………… $1,600 

Stafford County Economic Development:

                      Youth Entrepreneur Challenge Supplies………………………………. $1,880 

Nora E. Larabee Memorial Library: ADA Bathroom Project…………………….. $1,954 

2023 SCCF $250 Teacher’s Grant Recipients:                                                                                                                                            

St. John Elementary School: Social Emotional Online Learning………. Michelle Christiansen 

Macksville Junior High and High School: Care Closet Restock……. Jessica Neeland 

St. John Elementary School: Shoe Lacing Trainers…………………………… Trish Wade 

St. John Junior High School: Classroom Library Books………………….. Andrea Long 

St. John Elementary School: Kagan Cooperative Learning Materials. Bonnie Ward 

Stafford High School: Classroom Library Books………………………….. Dianna Fisher 

USD 350 – St. John-Hudson Schools: Ceramics Tools and Glazes…….. Brad Emery 

By Ryan Russell

Stafford County leaders have been working to finalize details in opening a commercial kitchen at the Stafford County Annex in St. John.

While some of the initial construction has yet to be completed, the county commission has generously given to help get the kitchen going.  In addition, Stafford County Economic Development Inc. was awarded a grant by South Central Community Foundation to hold Youth Entrepreneur Challenge (YEC) this year with a focus being on value added food creation. 

The YEC youth are challenged to create a business concept and compete against each other.

Stafford County Economic Development will offer an entrepreneurship training program in 2024 — that is food related, once the kitchen is completed and licensed.

Additional programming will be in partnership with 4H extension with their youth programs to create commercially viable products.  We will also work with 4H extension to create year-round programming.

The idea behind this is that Stafford County has an abundance of raw food materials from the flour mill, produce farmers, a number of small farms producing high-quality meat and dairy products; however, there is a lack of value-added products that are marketable.

Additional funds are needed.

The goal is to raise $10,000 for the operational and programming costs connected to the Commercial Kitchen.  This will include the costs of bringing in people with the technical skills and knowledge to help with training in packaging and food processing.  We will also be putting in a gas stove and other equipment that may be needed depending on who uses the kitchen.

Here’s how that money can be raised:

Beginning in November, South Central Community Foundation is doing a matching day on Giving Tuesday.  They have a pool of $70,000 to use in matching.  Each organization has an opportunity to get the funds they’ve raised matched, and an endowment created that will gain interest every year to be used for whatever projects an organization has to fund. 

Though Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, individuals can give throughout the month of November. Stafford County Economic Development is participating in South Central Community Foundations month of giving.  

So, give generously this November and help Stafford County Economic Development spur economic growth in Stafford County’s nascent food product industry.  To donate to support this important program, click on the link. https://www.sccfmatchday.org/nonprofits.cfm?id=1830

By Beccy Tanner

St. John’s century-old photo studio, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, is about to get an interior make-over.

The board at the W.R. Gray Photo Studio at 116 N. Main has created a partnership with Stafford County’s Economic Development office to help finish the building’s interior.

 The building was constructed at the turn of the 20th century.

“We’ve signed an agreement with Eco-Devo to complete the restoration of the building,” said Carol Long, president of the Gray Studio Restoration Board. “Basically, it is just for that. It’s not a longtime administration agreement. It’s just to complete the building.”

Ryan Russell, executive director of Stafford Count’s Economic Development, said his office would help write grants.

“We are an administrative and fiscal sponsor,” Russell says. “So, what that means, is that we will help them find the money to do the project.”

For years, the building sat vacant and neglected until Long and others within the community began a concentrated effort in trying to save it.

That’s when it was listed on the national register and a new roof was installed. Then, the building’s exterior was painted: windows were repaired on the structure’s iconic northern skylight and, the interior was essentially taken down to the studs and beams.

Now, it is time to finish the rest of the work.

“They need help with the finishing projects,” Russell said. “And, we are going to be looking at selling some tax credits and obtaining grants.”

Long said the goal for the building will be turn a portion of the space into a residential artist apartment.

However, the bulk of space will be utilized for a classroom and special events.

“This is not some favor to Gray Studio,” Long said of the help provided by Eco-Devo.

“They are getting compensation for their work … The reason this has happened is that we need somebody to have their mind on Gray Studio all the time – somebody skilled and with connections to grant writing and organizations that build the grants,” she said.

“We needed people in the know.”

Long said that for the past decade, the members of the Gray Studio board have been working on getting the building completed.

“We want to do programs when the building is done,” she said. “The building will house a workspace for classes and maybe a place for a resident artist to work. It will have a little retail space and museum.”

The reason the photo studio is so important to Stafford County is because it documented the early families who lived in the area.

The Gray family took photos in Stafford County for 76 years.

The type of photography that the family used was glass plate photography, started in the 1850s and used up until the 1930s when Kodak’s Brownie camera and film became more accessible to most families.

William Gray moved to St. John in 1905 from Fall River. He operated the studio until his death in 1947. His daughter Jessie took over the business until her retirement in 1981.

In 1986, she donated the glass negatives to the Stafford County museum.

 No one knew what they really had until Stafford County Museum curator and project director Michael Hathaway brought the 30,000 glass plate negatives up from the basement of the town’s old bank building and moved them into the museum’s library next to his office.

That was in 2004.

Gray had kept 11 ledgers dutifully noting each of the 30,000 photos.

Those business ledgers indicate his clients came from all over Kansas. Many of the photos include portrait sittings but also street scenes, crime scenes, festivals and, of course, who can’t resist a picture of oversized produce?

Now, with this new partnership, the building can be completed and it’s legacy can continue as an important landmark of Stafford County.

By Beccy Tanner

In its day, the old Quonset-style fair building on the Stafford County Fairgrounds was state-of-the-art.

It had an enclosed space, concrete floor, showers in the restrooms and giant electric fans that kept the air moving as fair-goers perused hundreds of 4-H projects.

That was more than 70 years ago.

In recent years as the steel framed-round top community building began to leak and rain water dripped on projects, the Stafford County Fair Board re-evaluated what they could do.

“The building’s roof had begun leaking and during heavy rains, it rained on photography exhibits and stuff like that,” said Billy Milton, fair board president. “We started looking into fixing the roof and got back an estimate that was going to cost between $30,000 to $40,000 to fix and that in 10 to 20 years, we’d have to do it again.

“We did not feel like that was the right area to pursue. It doesn’t make sense for us to be spend that much money. Our budget just is not that big to operate like that.”

A few weeks ago, the old 50 by 120-foot community building was removed from the fairgrounds.

And the ground has been prepared to receive a new building – a little bigger, 60 by 120-foot.

The construction will be more of a Morton-esque-style building.

The biggest hope and feature for it will be air conditioning, Milton said, and a more comfortable space for people to gather.

Using $250,000 in funds that was available to Stafford County to help stimulate the economy after the Covid pandemic, Milton said, the fair board was able to begin the process of replacing the old building. The money was awarded by Stafford County Commissioners with the stipulation it be spent by the summer of 2024.

“That led us to deciding to go ahead and replace the building,” he said. “It will suit our fair and the community a lot better than what we currently had … I have been on the fair board for the last six years and we’ve always kind of talked about wanting a new building – even back in the 1990s, there was talk about it.”

Milton said the fair board has partnered with Stafford County Economic Development to raise an additional $275,000 to pay for the building’s amenities – such as heating and air conditioning, a concession stand area with stove and refrigerator and install showers in the restrooms.

“The rest of it will be open for meetings, wedding receptions and reunions,” Milton said. “We entered into a fiscal sponsorship agreement with Stafford County Eco-Devo because our organization is not a 501-C nonprofit so that when people donate, they can still get the tax breaks and save a little bit of money with sales tax, also.”

The partnership allows for a tax-favored option.

People wanting to donate to the new building fund can do so by sending a check to the Stafford County Economic Development Office at P.O Box 233 at St. John, KS, 67576 or by calling 620-549-3527.

The checks can be made to Stafford County Eco-Devo with the words “Community Fair Building” in the memo portion of the check.

Donation levels include: Grand Champion level at $80,000 and up; Reserve Champion, $50,000 to $80,000; Champion, $20,000 to $49,000; Reserve, $10,000 to $19,000; Purple, $2,000 to $9,999; Blue, $500 to $1,999; Other and Add a Brick, $200 to $350.

A 4 x 8 brick with no clipart has three lines with 20 characters per line; the same size of brick with clipart has an equal number of lines with 15 characters per line; an 8 x 8 brick with no clipart has three lines with 20 characters per line; and with clipart, three lines with 20 characters.

People serving on the fundraising committee include Milton, Joanna McAlister, Barb Alpers and Sharilyn McNickle.

“Right now, with the amount of money we have, we have enough money to get the shell of a building. We can get it back to where we were before,” Milton said. “But the additional money will go towards plumbing, electrical, tables and chairs, a bathroom and kitchen area on the inside.”