Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Helping Hands

It was a beautiful day.  Not only for the shining sun and green grass, but for the festive atmosphere and excited energy that circulated through the community center.  Inside, bookshelves were wiped down and the carpets vacuumed.  Outside on the grass in front of the building the ribbon for the ceremony was being carefully twisted and mounted on wooden poles.  The time both sped and crawled to 11 am- the official time of the ceremony. 

The children of South Franklin Community Center (SFCC) Summer Camp walked from the original community center and sat in front of the new. One of the children yelled, “look it’s the mayor!”  The children’s excitement grew as the mayor came to greet them; and while the mayor talked to the children the Provo police cruised in- hands characteristically settled on their police belts.  Some of the Boulder’s residents trickled in, observing the scene and mingling with friends.  

Laura teaches the children a cool craft while they wait for the ceremony to start. 
The conductors of the ceremony represented those community organizations that made all of this possible.  Doug Carlson from Provo City Housing Authority, Lyman Adams from Horizon Management (of the Boulders Apartment Complex), Councilman Hal Miller and Mayor John Curtis representing Provo City, and Bill Hulterstrom of United Way of Utah County all made poignant remarks.  This center was completed because of their influential decision-making and sustained efforts.  Habitat for Humanity of Utah County was also instrumental by seeing to the actual construction of the building - we thank them whole-heartedly.
Bill Hulterstrom of United Way of Utah County points toward the location of the original community center.
Mr. Adams said something that resonated; he spoke eloquently of the community center’s journey.  The South Franklin Community Center programs have been operating for a number of years, he said, they have already achieved success. This new center will allow for a continuation and expansion of that success. 

The ceremony reached its crescendo when our SFCC kids made their way up to the grand purple and gold ribbon.  Taking their kid-sized scissors in hand, they began to snip snip snip.  The mayor helped by wielding a giant pair of scissors and with one flourish, the ribbon was cut. 

The doors were opened and we all filed in to check out the new building. The shiny metallic letters reading “South Franklin Community Center” we passed under as we entered contributed to the building’s crispy clean newness.  

The children were most excited about their new library, which houses six bookshelves, one sofa, and four bean bag chairs.  When we told them they could each pick out a book to take home they shrieked and stalked straight to the shelves to pick their prized book. 
A new Barbie book and a purple balloon would make me smile too!
As I walked through, I surveyed the smiling faces in every room.  I left the building and returned to the chairs set up in front of the podium.  I sat down and took a brochure in hand and read the first page:

We are here today because of the cooperation, dedication & generosity of multiple agencies & organizations as well as the hearts & hands of 1,016 individual volunteers who have graciously donated 3,533 service hours.

This is the truth.  A true community effort requires many hearts and many hands.  We have not only built a new community center, we have become closer as a community.  As a result of generosity and hard work, our South Franklin Community Center will continue to improve our programs and work with more residents. 

There were thousands of hands who have carried us forward, and if your hand was one of those who lifted us up, we cannot express enough gratitude for your concern, caring, and commitment. 
A sign made by the kids in the South Franklin Summer Camp.

For more pictures from the ribbon cutting ceremony, visit our facebook page at:

NOTE: The new community center will not be fully operational for a couple of weeks.  If you are going to an event or program please go to the original center.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Join our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 11 a.m.!

The days are numbered.  On July 30, 2013 the new South Franklin Community Center building will be officially complete.  It has been a long but rewarding journey, one I know has brought many community members and partners together.  
Please join us, this upcoming Tuesday in front of the new center at 750 South 700 West Provo, UT.  We will be gathered together at 11 a.m. sharp, and the ribbon cutting ceremony will last approximately 20-30 minutes.  We would love to see you there!

Let's take a glance back at our progress since the last blog post: 

The early months of 2013 covered the building's wooden beams and foundations. 

As summer neared the building took on an almost-finished look...

...but inside was still bare!

Join us this Tuesday to see the new landscaping (not-pictured) and to catch a glimpse of the beautifully finished interior of the South Franklin Community Center.