Back in March, board members from REACH announced plans for a capital campaign that would raise enough money to build a new shelter in the county. The shelter will hopefully be fully constructed by the end of 2015.
REACH is a domestic violence and rape crisis center with the mission of eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault crimes in Macon and Jackson counties through prevention, intervention, and educational services. The organization is also a nonprofit organization, thus operating with the use of grants and donations.
With a total price tag of $1.2 million, the board was able to secure a state grant that would fill the void of $900,000 – leaving $300,000 to be raised.
In an attempt to bring in the remaining funds, board members devised a team competition.
“The idea for the team competition came out of a series of conversations with REACH supporters who were discussing different ways to best engage our community in supporting the shelter project,” Jennifer Turner-Lynn, assistant director of REACH, said upon announcing the competition.
The competition involved groups of individuals who were nominated by someone on the board of REACH or a staff member to be a team captain. The teams were then named and given 10-20 pledge cards which were then dispersed to anybody who might be interested in donating to the campaign on behalf of a team. The team who garnered the most support would have the opportunity to name the new shelter.
On Monday, June 23, Turner-Lynn announced the winning team of the competition as VanDrake, who was co-captained by Josh Drake and Ben Vanhook, followed by REACH for Bargains (Captain – June Hernandez), Team Wilma Anderson (Captain - Wilma Anderson), The Good Earth (Captain – Danny Tinsley), and Blue Pigs (Captain – Franklin Police Chief David Adams).
"We are excited and humbled by the energy demonstrated by the team captains," said executive director of REACH, Andrea Anderson. "We feel that the fundraiser was a huge success and has helped us move to closer realizing our dream of building a new shelter for victims and their children. We are especially thrilled to announce that we are two-third's of the way towards obtaining the funding need for our match. It is our hope that the community will feel the energy of this project and will help us achieve the final amount needed to make our dream a reality."
The total amount raised during the competition was $118,480. That amount along with $25,000 given by Jackson County and another $30,000 on behalf of the Macon County Board of Commissioners to bring the new shelter within reach.
The new shelter will have 10 bedrooms, each with two beds, a great room, kitchen, two dining areas, children's play room, a conference room, a staff office, laundry room, an outside fenced play area, and a covered patio. For safety precautions, there will also be controlled access, security monitoring, and 24/7 staffing.
“The new shelter is very much needed in our community. It will impact hundreds of victims and children for years to come. It is a chance for victims in our community to 'start over' and establish a life free from violence for themselves and their children. We appreciate our team captains and everyone in our community for stepping up and helping provide a safety net for people who really need it,” said Anderson.
Donations can be made at http://www.reachofmaconcounty.org/capital-campaign/