Larry Olmstead of United Way of Northern California presented a check for $105,608 to the Weed Recreation and Parks District Board of Directors during their meeting Thursday evening, Oct. 19, at Bel Air Park.
That amount is what remained in the agency’s Boles Fire Relief Fund, which was started soon after the Boles Fire struck Weed in September, 2014.
United Way of Northern California requested that the funds be used to help finance the Weed Community Center, which is under construction at 161 E. Lincoln Ave., adjacent to Charles Byrd Park. A $4.2 million project, the Community Center will include an event hall, multi-use recreation hall, commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, therapy pool, exterior courtyard, lobby area and covered entryway.
It is expected to open in the summer of 2018.
Insurance proceeds and contributions from the McConnell and Ford foundations provided the bulk of the funding for the Community Center, according to a United Way of Northern California press release.
The previous Weed Community Center was one of more than 150 structures destroyed in the Boles Fire.
Olmstead, who is President and CEO of United Way of Northern California, said Thursday that Tri Counties Bank was “the big sponsor” for its Boles Fire Relief Fund, which collected and distributed $202,378, including money from donors who visited their website.
“One hundred percent of money donated went directly to the relief effort,” UWNC states in the release.
Those distributions “were made in close consultation with the community-based Weed Long Term Recovery Group, according to the release. “Earlier requests funded included salary support for reconstruction team case workers; equipment and labor for clean-up crews; fire-fighting equipment, fire extinguishers and fire safety classes; and support for community events such as a fundraising barbecue and the annual Harvest Carnival.”
“We are pleased and proud to stand with the many outstanding organizations that stepped up to support the community after this devastating incident,” Olmstead states in the press release. “The Weed Recreation and Parks District is creating a Community Center that will stand as a permanent symbol of the town’s resilience and spirit.”