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Center chipping away at furnace bill

CHESAPEAKE — A first-ever chili fest-ramp dinner fundraiser for the Chesapeake Community Center brought in about 20 percent of what is needed to pay off a bill for furnace repairs.

“It went about as well as I could have expected,” Ruth Damron, center director, said. “We sold quite a bit and had a great time.”

However, the Saturday event brought in only $800, with the center looking at a bill of $3,800 for its portion of the repair job.

The center was hoping to capitalize on the short-lived ramp season, offering them as a condiment for hot dogs and chili that was sold.

The furnace went out at the start of winter’s frigid temperatures bringing with it a repair bill of approximately $18,000. The majority of that — $14,000 — has come from a Community Development Block Grant. However the center has to provide the match.

Between 95 and 100 people showed up for the dinner and the yard sale that preceded the chili fest.

Now the center is looking for other ways to come up with the remainder of the money needed.

“We will be planning other things,” Damron said. “We hope to have some car washes.”

This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lawrence County Lightning, a fifth grade girls traveling basketball team, will hold a car wash at the center to help raise funds for the furnace bill.

The center offers fitness classes for adults and students, plus an exercise room. Monthly membership fee is $20 for adults and $15 for students.