A Local Gathering Place

A Local Gathering Place

From left, Ted Waggoner and Ginger Miller of the Fulton County Community Foundation receive a $50,000 gift from Carol Bridge and Alan Terrell of Rochester Telephone Company. RTC has pledged $100,000 to the Foundation. (Sentinel photo by Mike Kenny.)
Photo originally appeared in The Sentinel on November 1, 1995.

When a community has the asset of a community center building, the benefits are abundant. Having a community building allows local individuals to hold celebrations, business meetings, events, classes, and other types of gatherings without having to travel elsewhere. This also brings visitors from outside of the community. These benefits additionally promote economic prosperity. Perhaps the most important benefit of community centers is that they offer a sense of comradery and local pride as a gathering place for individuals who call the same community home.

For all of those reasons, community centers help to enhance the quality of life locally, which is why the Fulton County Community Foundation (FCCF) has given more than $250,000 to support community buildings within Fulton County. Fulton County has been lucky enough to enjoy four different community centers, each of which has been supported by an FCCF grant: The Aubbeenaubbee Community Center, the Richland Township Community Building, the Akron Community Center, and the Fulton Community Building.

The Akron Community Center & Banquet Hall, which is owned by the Akron Lion’s Club, was a project of the Akron Revitalization Committee (ARC). Kirk Robinson, who has been President of ARC since 1998 and is a Lion’s Club member, said that the idea for the community building began in the early 1970s and that much planning was done before construction actually began. The Akron Community Center is a beautiful building conveniently situated in an open rural area by Pike Memorial Park and Highway 14. The 9,000 square foot structure has been used by the community of Akron for weddings and wedding receptions, reunions, bridal and baby showers, local business meetings, Lion’s Club and Girl Scouts meetings, senior meals, the monthly Jammers’ music sessions, Akron Area Arts League meetings, and so much more.

The Fulton Community Building is used for similar gatherings and events, but it has been particularly useful for elementary sports and speed and agility classes. Constructed to be available as an emergency shelter, the building offers full restroom, shower, and kitchen facilities.

The Aubbeenaubbee Community Center was built at the site of the Leiters Ford School. Located in Leiters Ford, it was built largely thanks to grants from Lilly Endowment, Inc. during phases III and IV of their GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) initiative. The local Methodist church and the Aubbeennaubbee Improvement Association also served as partners in the planning of the Community Center.

The Richland Township Community Center was constructed on the north end of the Fulton County Museum. The collaborative effort allows the Richland Township Association a permanent meeting location and space to preserve Richland Township School’s rich history.

In addition to the newly constructed building, grants have also helped with renovations at the Newcastle Township Community Building and Grass Creek Depot.

The FCCF has been happy to offer support to all of these community gathering spaces, which have helped to make Fulton County a great place to call home.