By Lyndsie Kiebert
When the Memorial Community Center applied for a grant through the Spokane Teachers Credit Union to cover the cost of new flooring in early spring 2020, there was no way of knowing the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the year ahead.
Once the shutdowns began and reality sunk in, MCC Chairperson Dawn Brinker said the board didn’t hold out much hope for the flooring grant.
“We thought, ‘Oh, we’re probably not going to get it because there’s greater needs probably,’” Brinker said, “and at the time they couldn’t give us the grant, so we thought it was all over.”
That is, until STCU representatives requested a video conference earlier this month to “talk about the grant,” Brinker said. During that meeting, STCU surprised MCC board members with a Christmas gift of $15,000.
“We were quite surprised and ecstatic about it,” Brinker said.
In a recorded version of the conference that Brinker shared with the Reader, the excitement is apparent in both Brinker and MCC board member and grant writer Delores Matthews as STCU officials share the happy news and display the oversized check.
“You don’t know what that means to us,” Matthews says in the video.
Brinker said the funds will go toward new flooring on the first floor of the community center. She said she suspects the current flooring is original, from when the building was erected in the 1980s.
The Memorial Community Center is home to the Hope Preschool, and also serves as a gathering place for clubs, exercise classes and AA meetings. The facility can also be rented for events, and is known for its Christmas Giving and scholarship programs.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic creating uncertainty for many nonprofits, Brinker said people have remained enthusiastic about supporting Hope’s community center.
“We’ve been working to keep everybody engaged … and the community has responded really generously, and we’ve just been really happy about that,” she said.
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