Chesy center turning around financial picture

Published 12:03 am Thursday, January 1, 2015

CHESAPEAKE — With just a couple of fundraisers the Chesapeake Community Center has gone from red to black.

Last month the center’s board was unable to meet payroll for the four staff members. Then the center only had $100 in the bank to cover the $600 biweekly payroll.

“We have had a couple of basketball fundraisers in the last month, giving us a good padding financially,” Charles Case, board member, said. “That has given us a big boost.”

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Two separate basketball fundraisers brought in $1,500 and just more than $2,000, respectively. That was added to a spaghetti dinner that brought in $500.

A drop in membership at the center for its exercise room plus increased utility costs in the circa 1920s building have been cited as the reason for the economic woes.

Besides a fitness center, the building also houses the Community Food Pantry that serves families in the eastern end.

To bring in more members, the center is offering three ways to save on memberships. If an individual joins by Monday, the fee is $20 a month or a $5 monthly savings. If the prospective member signs up with auto-deduct from a checking account, it is $15 a month or $180 for a one-time payment for the year.

“We have never really done anything like this, offering discounts,” Case said. “We want people to come out not because we are needing their support, but we believe it is good for their health.”

On top of the discounts the center is also renovating the rooms that house the exercise equipment and cleaning out upstairs rooms to rent out to individuals or nonprofits for $200 a month.