Donation boosts Community House Generous

Six Alexandra-based arts and crafts groups combined to make a $200,000 donation to the Alexandra Community House this week. Viewing the progress on the facility were (from left)   Lynne Boulter, Steve Hills), Kathi McLean, Simon Horrell , Shirley Congalton, Glenda McCreadie, Jean Mowat and Jude Horrell.  Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
Six Alexandra-based arts and crafts groups combined to make a $200,000 donation to the Alexandra Community House this week. Viewing the progress on the facility were (from left) Lynne Boulter, Steve Hills), Kathi McLean, Simon Horrell , Shirley Congalton, Glenda McCreadie, Jean Mowat and Jude Horrell. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.

A combined history spanning more than 20 years is behind a fundraising boost of $200,000 for the Alexandra Community House.

The $2.6 million building in the centre of Alexandra will open early next year and six arts and crafts groups joined forces to make the donation yesterday.

Arts and Crafts Inc, the Alexandra Patchwork Group, Alexandra Spinners and Weavers, Goldfields Miniatures, the Alexandra Pottery Club and the Central Otago Model Society used to share a Tarbert St building, known as The Studio.

Some of the groups had been based there for up to two decades.

They sold the property to the Elim Church and have used the proceeds of the sale as their donation to the community house, where they will be based in the future.

"This is extremely generous and we're grateful for their support," house trust chairwoman Bernie Lepper said yesterday.

The 1054sq m community house building in the grounds of St Enoch's Church, Centennial Ave, will be home for more than 12 social service agencies, as well as education, arts and crafts groups.

The latest donation will be used to outfit the kitchen, provide tables and chairs for meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment and other "extras" for the benefit of all groups using the facility.

"We're excited about moving into community house next year and wanted to make the donation from the sale of our building towards something that everyone in the community would benefit from," Arts and Crafts Inc president Jean Mowat said.

The groups had a long association together, spanning more than two decades in some cases.

They all agreed the community house facility was the ideal recipient of the funds.

An open day would be held at the facility on December 15, from 10am to noon. It would be "open for business" in mid-January, Mrs Lepper said.

The first meeting about the project was held in October 2007 and the trust was set up in early 2008 and began fundraising. Its vision was for the house to be a focal point to "nurture and sustain the wellbeing of all people, though arts, education and social services".