HLCA closing in on goal for community center

HUBBARD LAKE -As of Tuesday, $68,070 has been raised for a Hubbard Lake community center, which also will be home to a branch of the Alcona County library.

But organizers want to collect another $32,000 before they pursue grants for the rest of the money.

Jeff Johnston, who owns Q & C Family Market, said he and the Hubbard Lake Community Association envision a 5,000-square foot energy efficient building located behind the site of the current center near the lake’s north bay. The present one-story facility at 1561 Hubert Road is an old fire hall in need of repair. It also is not handicap accessible and eventually will be torn down.

One half of the new building would serve as a community center; the other would be dedicated for the Hubbard Lake branch of the Alcona County Library, he said. Plans include two tutorial rooms, a computer lab, a children’s reading and play area, as well as shelving for books and other media. The library also would be equipped with wireless internet.

The cost of the project is around $500,000, he said. Once the association has $100,000 in hand, members will submit grants to raise the final sum. They are not seeking loans, but want the building paid for in full once it is ready to open.

The association hosts several fundraisers, Johnston said. A dock made by Dennis Richardson is raffled off each year. A separate event also is held Aug. 18 at White Pine National Golf Resort. He said residents also can sign up to make regular, tax deductible donations once a month or per year.

The funds are in the safekeeping of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, Barbara Willyard, executive director, said. The account was opened Nov. 14, 2006, and the funds are invested in money market certificates.

“When organizations are passionate about a project they are doing, the community fund can step in an act as the fiscal agent,” she said. “They talk up the project, the community fund keeps track of it all.”

The biggest donation, which inspired additional giving, came from an anonymous source in the form of a $26,000 money order Oct. 14, 2011, she said.

Johnston promotes the project from his store. He keeps plenty of donation brochures on hand and displays a sketch by Todd Britton of what the center might look like. He also is looking for volunteers. For more information, contact him at 727-2094.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at blehndorff@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.