BUCKHANNON – The Stockert Youth & Community Center received a $100,000 gift from Citizens Bank Tuesday — the largest gift the City of Buckhannon has ever received.
The money will be used to construct a new gymnasium/auditorium multi-purpose facility.
Citizens Bank CEO and President Nathaniel Bonnell presented a check for $100,000 in front of SYCC Tuesday, May 5, to Mayor David McCauley and Executive Director of SYCC Debora Brockleman.
The donation is part of a larger agreement between Citizens Bank and the City of Buckhannon, in which the city agreed to purchase the old Chase Bank drive-thru on Madison Street for $200,000 in exchange for Citizens donating the $100,000 for naming rights of the new gymnasium that will be housed in the facility.
SYCC operates as a branch of the city, and McCauley spearheaded a drive to revive the SYCC capital campaign several years ago to raise money for a new multi-purpose gymnasium/auditorium facility.
“Now in its 26th year, thousands of kids from our community have benefitted from our SYCC programs,” McCauley said. “For some time, we’ve known that the needs of our kids had outgrown this wonderful, old building. Simply stated, we need more space to accommodate our children. In December of 2017, our City launched its long dormant capital campaign and with the gift we’re about to officially receive, our capital campaign will have reached $440,000.”
Bonnell said Citizens Bank was excited to support the youth of Upshur County.
“I have with me today Stephanie Ward, our business development officer, and Gina Ball, our branch manager,” Bonnell said. “Both of them join with me on this great occasion to give the city and the Stockert Youth Center $100,000. We’re excited about what this gift will do for the youth in our community, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this.”
McCauley said the project has received other sizable gifts during their capital campaign, including $25,000 from the Jenkins family and Jenkins Ford, $20,000 from the Minsker family and Buckhannon Toyota, $20,000 from Buckhannon Rotary, $15,000 from Weyerhaeuser, $15,000 from Tim Critchfield and High Point Construction, $11,000 from Mike Ross and several others.
“In April of 2018, our Stockert Board and City Council approved a donor model that would authorize naming rights of our new building, the ‘fill-in-the-blank’ Arena at Stockert Youth and Community Center,” McCauley said. “Acquisition of naming rights required a gift of $100,000. The largest gift ever received by our City had been until today – the $25,000 gift of the Jenkins family and Jenkins Ford made just last year toward our Stockert capital campaign.”
McCauley said he was happy to announce that the “blank” had been filled in.
“Citizens Bank of West Virginia has gifted $100,000 to take our capital campaign to $440,000,” McCauley said. “Citizens’ CEO, Nathaniel Bonnell, and the Citizens’ board of directors are friends and wonderful partners of our City of Buckhannon and our SYCC programs and facilities.”
McCauley said the city is still looking for additional funding and possible financing before construction can start on the new building, but he hopes to break ground later this year.