Dinner set to help Chesapeake center with roof woes

Published 10:07 am Friday, February 26, 2010

CHESAPEAKE — When it rains, it pours. When it snows, it leaks.

That’s the weather report Ruth Damron, director of the Chesapeake Community Center, has had on her radar over the past few months.

This winter’s excessive amounts of snowfall have shown up even more the fact that the center’s roof needs to be replaced. And coming up with the money has been slower that the water coming into the building.

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So after two significant fundraisers that brought in $1,800, the center is once again reaching out to the community for help.

On Saturday, March 20, there will be a spaghetti dinner at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, to help add to the cause. The dinner will feature spaghetti, a salad and dessert. Tickets are $6 for adults at the door and $4.50 for children. Adult tickets may be bought ahead of time at the center for $5.

“We are trying to raise money to put a new roof on the building,” Damron said. “If we have to, we will take it a room at a time. There is one room that especially needs attention. With all the rain and snow, it is almost impossible to have the kids meet in there.”

That room is where teens and pre-teens meet for weekly karate lessons.

Just to replace the roof on that section of the building will cost at least $6,000, Damron said. That’s why she is hoping there will be a strong turnout at the upcoming dinner.

This past fall, a benefit concert by Howie Damron brought in $1,200 and a Halloween ghost hunt, $600.

Right now the center has 250 active members who can use the specialty rooms and take classes. There are three heavy weight rooms, a room with three new treadmills and a weight room designed for women.

Classes range from kick boxing to Zumba to yoga to karate to regulation boxing.

Also headquartered at the center is a community food pantry and clothing closet for those in need in the area. It is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The center’s recreational areas are open 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Monthly fee to use the center is $20 and no contract is required.

“It’s role in the community is the head and the heart,” the Rev. Charles Moran, pastor at St. Ann’s, said. “It invites people to be physically healthy. It reaches out to the community and to all aspects of the community from those who are healthy to those who are experiencing suffering. It provides so many great services.”