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Peru Rec Center saved
PERU- Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who put the effort forth to make great things happen. This was the case last week when Peru Selectman Laurieann Milligan revealed her efforts in writing a grant on behalf of the town for $10,000.
Not 24 hours after the Friends of Peru Elementary School met to brainstorm ideas for fundraising to keep the 1936 former school building open as a community center, they got word that they were going to be awarded the grant that Milligan applied for.
Thanks to the Marshall L. and Ruth-Anne Gibson Municipal Charitable Program, the center will be able to remain open for another year and allow FPES to get their fundraising underway. It will take approximately $10,000 - $15,000 per year to keep the building heated, the lights on, water running and pay for any other insurances or repairs.
The grant, was provided through a trust of Marshall “Jack” Gibson, who founded Commercial Paving and Recycling Group of Scarborough and was to be set up for municipalities he worked with throughout the years. The five-year program begins this summer with twelve towns being selected each year to receive $10,000 each.
Gibson noted that it is his way of giving back to the communities he worked with over the years and the money is to assist in building positive community-based projects, the Peru Rec Center clearly depicts that description.
Following a tour of the building last week with Chairman Tim Holland, Gibson approved of the project and noted that it had “outstanding potential.”
“The tour went real well,” stated Holland. “It was a very pleasant visit and he (Gibson) said he believed in our community. He has a passion for cooking and loved the kitchen area, especially. He wants to see us succeed.”
With the tour being complete and Gibson being satisfied with where the funds will be going, a check will be cut to the town and it should be in hand by September 15.
Members of FPES that were present at the informational meeting on Wednesday night spent more than 90 minutes brainstorming fundraising ideas that ranged from reviving the SummerFest, having garage sales and bringing in more family-focused events to help strengthen the spirit of the town.
Now, with the funding of the grant, Holland noted that the clubs and organizations that were previously renting space will have first chance to come back. “Anybody wishing to rent space will be more than welcome,” noted Holland.
Clubs and groups such as the Civil Air Patrol, River Valley Zumba and Girl Scouts were renting meeting space prior to the June 28 vote that forced them out.
The Friends of Peru Elementary School will be holding another informational/planning meeting at 6 p.m. tonight in the town office voting room.