'So much in return' Conway woman's mission is to find a need, then fill itREAD ONLINE
Conway senior program continues capital campaignOriginally Published August 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated August 16, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
CONWAY — The Faulkner County Senior Citizens Program is getting serious about raising money again.
The capital campaign to raise up to $2.2 million for a new center is about to ramp up.
“It kind of slowed down just a little over the summer,” said Debra Robinson, executive director of the senior citizens program.
“We’re just trying to rejuvenate and get it going again.”
The Faulkner County Council on Aging Board of Directors signed a $1.95 million contract in February to buy the Agora Conference & Special Events Center on Siebenmorgen Road in Conway.
The building will be the new home of the Faulkner County Senior Wellness and Activity Center, now at 1620 Donaghey Ave.
The current location is a former church that has been added onto, and it doesn’t meet the growing program’s needs, Robinson said.
The Donaghey center has 9,000 square feet, and Agora has approximately 19,000 square feet, she said.
The co-chairwomen of the campaign are banker Lori Case Melton and businesswoman Linda Linn.
At the campaign kickoff in April, it was announced that the fundraising deadline would be June.
“In summer, you just can’t do anything,” Melton said. “We kind of put it on pause.”
To date, $1.266 million has been raised, she said.
“If we get to $2 million, we think we’ve got potential,” Melton said.
Melton said fundraising events are being planned, including a telethon and a banquet, but details are not set.
Also, “we’ve got several grants out there pending,” Melton said.
Robinson said the group hopes for a grant through the Mabee Foundation.
“We actually went to Tulsa on July 16 and met with the Mabee Foundation. We’re asking
them for $139,000 for expanding the kitchen,” she said.
“We can’t have any contracts signed or anything started until we hear from them,” Robinson said.
Melton said the committee should know by mid-September if the Mabee Foundation grant has been approved.
“We think we’re going to get that,” Melton said. “We can’t sign the contract with the construction person until they say yea or nay.”
If the grant doesn’t pan out, Melton said, another source of funding will be pursued.
Agora’s former owners, Lucinda and D.J. Waller, have turned the building over to the senior citizens program.
Robinson said a steering committee meeting was held there last week.
Melton said the facility is still available to rent for weddings and business meetings
by contacting Robinson at the center at (501)
Robinson said the senior center probably won’t move to its new location until February or March, “but I would like to have all the money raised before then.”
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or email@example.com.