After , Brainerd Community Center Inc. is working to raise funds for renovation.
The group hopes to raise $2 million and complete a partial renovation before opening it as a community center, according to John Snow, treasurer for the Brainerd Community Center Inc. The group hopes to renovate for heating and fire safety so the building can be open year-round.
“This way we can get more of the community into Brainerd and more people interested in the project,” Snow said.
Covering Maintenances Costs
As of June 19, the group has raised $50,000. Most of it already has been spent on day-to-day maintenance, such as roof repairs over former classroom areas, insurance, and security, according to Jim Moran, the group’s president.
"The sooner we get the roof fixed, the better condition the building will be in when we start our renovation,” Moran said.
The Libertyville Civic Center also donated an undisclosed sum to aid repairs. Donations from individuals and corporate donors are a major source of funding for the Brainerd Community Center, which does not rely on tax dollars.
Aside from donors, the group also fundraises through different events. One such event was a photo exhibition held June 19. The group hoped the images would inspire the community and garner more public support for preserving the Brainerd building.
The Photo Flash Mob
A team of 12 photographers from the College of Lake County called The Photo Flash Mob worked with Brainerd Community Center to host the event. Local photographers also were invited to contribute images reflecting the theme of community to the exhibition. PFM auctioned photographs and donated 20 percent of the proceeds to the Brainerd Community Center.
PFM spent the past year photographing abandoned urban sites, which led them to the Brainerd building.
“We instantly fell in love with the space,” said Fiona McLaren, a CLC photography professor and a PFM member. “We felt like every picture we took told a story.”
North Shore Wine, Beer, Cigar and Food Festival
Up next for Brainerd Community Center is its second North Shore Wine, Beer, Cigar and Food Festival, which will be held Aug. 27, outside the Brainerd building.
“We’re hoping to raise $20,000 from the festival,” Snow said. “That’s our bottom line.”
This year’s festival will feature 350 different fine wines, 150 craft beers, eight restaurants serving food, and various sample cigars. Organizers also added a home-brewing competition.
“The next best thing for the public to do would be to come to the festival,” Snow said. “I encourage them to come inside the building, see the space, and use a bit of vision as to what this community center could really mean for Libertyville, as well as central Lake County.”
For more information on the upcoming festival, visit: www.NorthShoreWineBeerFest.com.