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O'Hara expands ways to match community center funds

| Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Stephanie Flom, executive director at Boyd Community Center shows the sketches for the new center.

O'Hara Council has added another way to help supporters of a proposed community center to raise money for a $7.25 million capital campaign.

Council members agreed in the fall to match $1 million in money that the community center association brings in toward construction of the center.

But council last week gave the green light to match fundraising efforts by Stage Right theater group, which is housed in the current community center and hopes to raise enough money for a dedicated performance area.

“Whatever money they are able to raise will count toward the $1 million,” O'Hara Manager Julie Jakubec said.

Still, the match money is to go toward base bids for the center only, no alternate bids, and that presents a snag for Stage Right members.

The base plans for the new community center, to be built on the existing center's 11-acre campus on Powers Run Road, include a 2,000-square-foot multipurpose room.

This is enough space to accommodate a stage, said Stephanie Flom, community center director.

A 1,000 square-foot alternate was added to equip dressing rooms, lighting, storage for a portable stage and other theater amenities. This addition is not eligible to be paid by the matching funds.

Stage Right President Bill Ivins declined comment.

Flom said the theater group has raised more than $62,000 so far toward the match.

Volunteers made appeals during the group's most recent show, “Another Evening of One Acts,” and have held receptions for friends and neighbors in their homes.

“They are passionate and have done a fantastic job in getting the word out for both the importance of making gifts to the new center as well as the expanded space for theater,” Flom said.

“O'Hara Township has been a fantastic partner. We are grateful for their support.”

Efforts by the community center board have topped $500,000. Fundraising has included a tile sale for a new mural, email appeals and luncheons by the Squaw Valley Garden Club, the Fox Chapel Garden Club and the staff at Tom & Tud's in Aspinwall.

Donations have poured in from the Fox Chapel Rotary, the Fox Chapel District Association, local Girl Scout troops and parent-teacher associations.

“I love that many of the gifts represent group efforts,” Flom said.

“It is clear that ours is a community made up of people who value our assets and want to be a part of building them for generations to come.

“We are thrilled that Council agreed that it is in everyone's best interest to expand the match eligibility.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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