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In order to continue the momentum, a group of residents have planned a chili supper fundraiser for Saturday, Nov. 17. The money generated will be used toward Phase I of the renovation of the community center, formerly the Petersburg Elementary School.
The event will take place at the Petersburg Town Hall beginning at 5 p.m. on that Saturday. Supper is $5 per person, and also to be presented to a lucky winner is one, two or three gift cards. Organizers stated that for a $5 donation toward the repair of the community center, participants have three chances to win. The gift cards include $100 for Kroger’s, $50 for Shell gas, and/or $50 on a Visa.
“We are also taking monetary donations,” said Troy Beard, who is helping with the fundraiser but considers himself a friend of Petersburg, adding that the community center will provide a place for children and teens to play sports, for activities and exercise classes for members of the community and as location in town to hold large fundraisers.
For a limited time, organizers will be accepting donations from sponsors. Each sponsor will have their name etched on a plaque that will be displayed in a prominent place in the community.
Sponsors who give a $50 donation are eligible to have their name placed on a bronze plaque, $100 donation a silver plaque, and $200 a gold plaque. Donations may be sent or taken to the Petersburg Town Hall and made payable to The Petersburg Community Center.
Support from civic groups and corporate donations are greatly needed as well.
“An investment in Petersburg is an investment in Lincoln County,” Beard continued. “Petersburg is the only community without an active community center.”
The community center board of trustees, who own the property, are Connie Amos, Randy Taylor and Paul Smith. A charter has been set up with the state, Beard said.
In addition to a basketball court indoors, the community center used to have two outdoor basketball courts and two or three tennis courts. “We used to have a girls softball team,” Beard added.
Thanks to the efforts of Gary Steger, maintenance manager with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, some major leaks in the community center’s roof have been patched already. Hopes are that they will be able to continue some work on the community center and that other residents will be pitching in to help.
While the building has been sadly neglected for a long time and needs some major repairs, the foundation and brick walls are still solid, say Beard and Smith. The walls are three bricks thick, Beard said, adding, however, that the windows, doors, porches and interior rooms need some major repairs. Weeds have grown around the building and need to be cut and cleared as well.
“The big cost will be the labor,” said Smith.
The Petersburg Community Center is on Facebook and updates and events are posted there.