BUCKHANNON – What could make for a better evening than dressing up, going out with friends for a delectable meal and having an opportunity to win a $1,000 prize?
Well, knowing that your evening was helping the Stockert Youth & Community Center realize its goal of raising money for their new youth and community center’s multi-use gymnasium/auditorium addition, of course! And, according to officials, as of Friday, there were very few tickets left for this event.
Debora Brockleman, executive director of the youth center, said the SYCC Elimination Dinner is this Friday, Nov. 8 at the Event Center at Brushy Fork beginning at 5 p.m. with a reception followed by a “really great” dinner at 6 p.m., catered by Buckhannon City Councilman C.J. Rylands of C.J. Maggie’s American Grill.
“We are selling 300 tickets, and I don’t think there are more than a handful of tickets still available at this point,” Brockleman said. “We will have items available through an auction and have silent auction items available during the dinner. Items will have a basket and people can purchase tickets to place in the baskets of items they hope to win.”
Brockleman said some of the larger prizes include West Virginia University Football tickets for the game against Texas, a Holly River State Park Cabin Rental, car detailing, car window tint gift certificates and more. Other coveted items include gift certificates from restaurants and businesses all over Buckhannon.
“We have a lot of neat items to auction,” Brockleman said, adding that she feels so fortunate to be surrounded by such a giving community. “We are hoping to start this project very soon. The support for the kids in having a new multi-use facility where we can have not only basketball, volleyball or karate classes, but just a bigger space where we can do more things.”
“It’s a space where we can get in out of the weather because sometimes, we plan big events and it rains,” she added.
Brockleman said the multi-use facility will not just benefit kids in the city and council but also adults throughout the entire community. SYCC board members and city officials have previously mentioned the possibility of constructing an indoor track on which adults and senior citizens could exercise indoors in the case of inclement weather.
“Kids are our number one priority, but this is also for the community,” Brockleman said. “I think this is a really important project and believe Stockert Youth and Community Center is for the community. I think Stockert Youth Center is special but having more space will be terrific.”
The capital campaign for the new building is two-years old and Brockleman said there have been other fundraisers along the way.
“We have a Haunted House and are doing whatever we can do to move it along,” Brockleman said.
SYCC offers a summer camp and tons of activities for kids in the area.
“We have a Baton Group, our Stockert Youth Drill Team, tutoring, and classes like yoga, kick boxing and karate for kids,” she said. “It’s important to have a place for the kids and something for them to do. We have a lot of kids playing basketball. Some kids don’t want to play basketball, so they help keep score or work the door or help out in any way they can.”
Brockleman said these types of activities help to build children’s sense of self in a positive manner.
“If we can change the life of just one or two kids, it is so worth it,” she said.
Buckhannon mayor and SYCC Board Member David McCauley said this is the second, now annual, Stockert Youth & Community Center Elimination Dinner.
“Last year, we realized $10,000 toward our now two-year capital campaign to realize construction of our new youth and community center, multi-use building,” McCauley said. “To date, we’ve realized about $320,000 toward the project. We are still $100,000-plus short of realizing the funds to complete the minimum model of the new building.”
McCauley said that last spring, city public works director Jerry Arnold estimated the building to cost about $430,000.
“Our citizenry’s support for Stockert is critical to our realizing a successful campaign. One of the ways our residents can support Stockert is by attending our elimination dinner on Friday, Nov. 8.,” McCauley said.
According to McCauley, the final building design will be contingent on whether the city receives a federal Abandoned Mine Lands Grant, and officials hope to whether the City of Buckhannon will be awarded the grant in the next month or so.
“Naturally, we would prefer to advance construction of something more than a barebones structure,” he said. “Either way, we will start construction on a new building to complement the old building soon.”
Tickets will not be available at the door, so get one of the few remaining tickets by contacting the center by calling 304-473-0145, contacting one of the center’s Board Members or stopping by SYCC, located at 79 E Main St. in Buckhannon.