Augusta Hills

Bill and Marilyn Emmert watch as work progresses on the gymnasium portion of the Augusta Hills Learning, Recreation and Community Center on C.R. 300N.

ALBION — Who wouldn’t want to double their money?

Opportunities like that are rare.

But prospective donors to the Augusta Hills Learning, Recreation and Community Center can double their donation/generosity thanks to a grant from the Cole Foundation.

Organizers Bill and Marilyn Emmert said the Cole Foundation will match up to $50,000 donations made to the effort.

The Albion Recreation Center Committee, which has received its non-profit 501©3 status through the state, consists of President Kevin Dreibelbis, Vice President Dr. Jay Hayes, Treasurer Bev Fitzpatrick, Secretary Cody Kirkpatrick, the Emmerts as board members, volunteers Steve Kirkpatrick, Stan Jacob and Stan Tipton, corporate counsel Mike Yoder and accounting consultant Brock Pulver.

Money can be donated by contacting any of these individuals or by special accounts set up at Albion branches of Community State Bank and Campbell & Fetter Bank.

Donations are tax deductible.

People contemplating a donation can see some physical progress being made on the gymnasium, which will allow for pickle ball and basketball. The gym will also contain an elevated walking track.

Workers have installed steel posts which will make up the perimeter of the structure. It’s one thing to have drawings to show people, it’s another to see the new building on C.R. 300N taking shape.

“It’s great to see those poles going up,” Bill Emmert said. “You can get a better visual now knowing where the walls are. It’s encouraging to see work being done.”

The idea for a community center came from Marilyn Emmert, an avid walker, who wanted a place close to home to walk when the weather is bad.

The Albion Recreation Center Committee had been considering a downtown building purchase when the a 6-acre parcel of land on which the Augusta Hills Golf Course had been built was offered as a donation. The committee jumped at the chance, and has remodeled the interior of the clubhouse, making it suitable for a wide variety of activities, including recreational and educational classes.

The committee is still determining what types of classes it will offer.

“It depends on what people in the community want,” Bill said. “We’re looking for that input.”

One thing is for sure, offerings will be wide-ranging.

“A lot of people think it’s for older people,” Bill said. “It’s really for all ages.”

The Emmerts said it is hoped that the interior of the old clubhouse will be ready for operation in the spring.

The committee’s goal is to have the gymnasium completed by next fall, but that will depend on the level of donations the effort receives.

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