BRUSHTON — A long, cold winter and high heating costs have been a challenge not only for homeowners this season but for charitable organizations who serve the communities where they live.
Hope Community Center in Brushton is a diamond in the rough, a large building that once served as an industrial site, renovated by First Christian Church to serve as a community outreach and gathering place for events.
With a stage for plays, a large gymnasium-like space for basketball, meeting rooms and a kitchen to heat, the old boiler wasn’t working efficiently to warm up the rooms during cold winters. Monies became available to replace the aging heat source with a new one.
NATURAL GAS LINE
Because a natural gas line is planned for the North Country, overseers of the building decided to install a natural gas/propane furnace, saying it would be more economical than other heating fuels. The problem, however, is that the natural gas line hasn’t reached Brushton yet, but the sub-zero weather has.
“This has been a long heating season and the funds we set aside for fuel oil with the old furnace system have been depleted because we‘ve had to use propane, which has been expensive due to short supply,” said Dan Mills, spokesman for the community center committee. “We are now into our emergency fund and if that runs out before the cold weather, we may have to shut the center down.”
‘HEAT THE HOPE’
With the possibility of having to heat the center for two more months, plans are in place for fundraising, beginning with a Zumbathon on Friday, March 21. Three Zumba instructors, Maggie Engels, Cindy Debeer and Emily Sexton, have volunteered their time to lead the party, and several activities will be going on during the event.
A Facebook page has been created called “Heat the Hope Community Center Black Light Zumbathon” detailing activities from 6 to 8 p.m. that night, including a silent auction and bake sale.