Community Center gets money boost

CASCO – A group called the Friends of the Casco Community Center beamed Tuesday night as it handed over an $80,300 check to the town.

The fundraising effort spanned from December 2008 through June 2011.

The Casco Board of Selectmen voted to accept the check; and the money – which totals $80,329.50 – will be placed in a special account for the Casco Community Center.

According to Kevin Hancock who spoke on behalf of the group, the fundraising began with the intention of lessening the burden on the taxpayers for the cost of remodeling the community center. But, the group had agreed buying need equipment might be an appropriate use of the money, too.

“Originally, we wanted to reduce net taxpayer cost for new community center,” he said.

Now, that the fundraising is over – the decision of how the community center money is used belongs to other groups, Hancock said.

In fact, how the fund can be appropriated must go before residents at Town Meeting.

The recent donation could be designated for use to be used to offset construction debts, or to make capital purchases for the community center, he said.

Hancock spoke of the events that had spurred the fundraising effort, which came to a close on Tuesday when committee members handed the check to the town’s elected board.

“You might remember that at the time, the community center had been closed for several years. It was a real possibility that the town would tear it down, and put nothing in its place,” he said.

“We had pledged $50,000. It was a promise we made, and it wasn’t okayed by the selectmen,” Hancock said.

“In either case, the Friends of the Casco Community Center are pleased to have reached our fundraising goal ahead of schedules. Like many other in our community we are so happy to see how the community center has become such a vibrant place of activity for all ages,” he said.

“The new center is everything we had hoped for and more when we made our original pledge of support,” Hancock said. “Having completed our mission we are disbanding.”

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