The roof extension over a new front porch takes shape at the St. Michaels Community Center now under complete renovation at 103 Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels, Md. Harper & Sons, Inc. of Easton, Md. is the contractor for the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Fundraising continues in support of the renovations, with more at www.stmichaelscc.org/future. Photo Credit: Harper & Sons, Inc. Carpenter & Photographer Bryan Paul.
The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation is helping to support the people served by the St. Michaels Community Center with an investment of $250,000 for the nonprofit’s building renovation capital campaign.
The funding supports the Community Center’s total renovation of its aged building to expand community food distribution and education services, including a modern commercial kitchen for a new Culinary Arts & Hospitality Workforce Development Program. The building renovation is on schedule to be completed by the end of 2023. Additional charitable donations and grants are needed to close a $900,000 fundraising gap to reach the project’s $4.5 Million goal.
“The Clark Foundation supports the work of organizations with strong leadership and values that reflect those of our founder and my father, A. James Clark,” said Foundation Board Chair Courtney Clark Pastrick. “This investment is aligned with our mission of ensuring organizations like the St. Michaels Community Center have the resources they need to grow and support their communities today and in the future.”
A June 15, 2023 street-view photo (top photo) and rendering of the renovated St. Michaels Community Center, anticipated to be completed by the end of 2023. The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation is helping to support the people served by the St. Michaels Community Center with a $250,000 investment for the nonprofit’s building renovation capital campaign, with other donors invited to participate.
During the year-long renovation, the St. Michaels Community Center is operating from temporary office space generously donated by Christ Church, St. Michaels, and leased space where the former Key Lime Café and Crab ‘N’ Que restaurants used to be on Talbot Street.
The new facility will include amenities once lacking in the original World War II-era structure that was built to be a crude lumber warehouse. There will be a second-floor clerestory for offices, operating windows, proper insulation, a functional HVAC system, handicap accessibility, and more.
Future programming and functionality of the renovated community center followed opinions and suggestions by residents of St. Michaels and the surrounding areas.
“We conducted a community needs assessment survey in 2020 of people from Royal Oak to Tilghman Island,” said Langley Shook, the Community Center’s Board Chair. “Respondents were clear in detailing the community’s needs for a technology center, workforce development programs, arts and culture, and much more.”
The renovated Center also will include equipped classrooms for after-school programs, summer camps, and adult education, along with a Technology Center to provide online classes offered by Chesapeake College and a home for a retail entrepreneurship training program.
“This investment will help us have the improved facilities needed to support our food distribution program and a new culinary arts workforce training program, for example, which will benefit the participants and local restaurants in need of well-trained employees,” said SMCC Executive Director Patrick Rofe. “We’d like to start a Farm-to-Table program related to nutrition and health and growing fruits and vegetables in our 40 community garden plots.”
The renovations now underway at the St. Michaels Community Center include a fully equipped modern commercial kitchen to expand food distribution and meal service to those in need and training for jobs in restaurants and hotels. Bright, well-equipped classrooms and a multipurpose room for community gatherings are included in the plans, with the Community Center anticipating double the number of people making use of the Center compared to today’s participation levels, once the new building is fully operational.
SMCC anticipates doubling the number of people served after programming in the new building is operational. “SMCC’s priority commitment is to the needs of the region’s population who lack the resources to lift themselves from poverty,” said Rofe. “We will continue our long-time commitment to the food insecure and will add to that workforce development programming to enable individuals to transition to self-sufficiency.”
About the St. Michaels Community Center
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community with year-round programs and activities for children, families, and adults. Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for residents of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area.
Architectural renderings of the St. Michaels Community Center’s renovated building and planned capital improvements, including information about how to support the campaign, can be found at www.stmichaelscc.org/future.
About the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation partners with organizations to strengthen their ability to meet the needs of the individuals, families, and communities they serve. In keeping with Mr. Clark’s desire to spend down within a decade and maximize the impact of this funding, the Clark Foundation established its current philanthropic model in 2016. The Foundation focuses its philanthropy in three strategic areas: educating future engineering leaders, improving the lives of veterans and their families, and providing members of the DC community the best opportunity to thrive.
To learn more, visit: www.clarkfoundationdc.org.
Dear Community Friend,
I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. As the Executive Director of St. Michaels Community Center, I want to share with you a heartwarming story about a family in our community and how our food distribution program has made a significant difference in their lives.
Sandra*, a young girl from the family, has shared her story with us about how our food pantry and community café have impacted her family. Sandra's family consists of three generations living under the same roof, and with six mouths to feed, it is challenging for them to make ends meet. They have been struggling to put food on the table, and it has been challenging for them to make nutritious meals.
Sandra told us that before they discovered our food distribution program, they often had to skip meals, and sometimes her parents had to go without food so that the children could eat. She says, "It was really tough sometimes. My mom and dad worked hard, but they still couldn't pay for everything we needed. I've been hungry a lot. Sometimes we've had to go to bed without dinner. School was harder when I was hungry all the time."
However, since they started receiving food from our food pantry and community café, things have improved significantly. Sandra said, "Now we have food in the house all the time. Mom gets fruits and vegetables, and we even get meat and eggs. Plus, the food is really good."
Sandra also mentioned that the program has helped her grandparents, who live with her family. They are on a fixed income, and it is often hard for them to make ends meet. Sandra says, "My grandparents need the food program too. It's helped them save money on groceries, and they don't have to worry about buying enough food for all of us."
It is stories like Sandra's that remind us of the importance of our food distribution program. No one should have to go hungry, especially not families with children and seniors who are already struggling to make ends meet.
As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the support of our community to continue providing essential programs like our food distribution program. We are asking for your support to ensure that families like Sandra's continue to have access to healthy food.
Your donation can make a significant impact on the lives of families in our community. Just $50 can provide a week's worth of food for a family of four. Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.
With your support, we can continue to provide healthy food options and create a more equitable community for everyone.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
PS Your support makes a big difference in someone’s life. Please make a donation by clicking here or using the button below. Thank you!
*Individual’s name has been changed to protect privacy.
The St. Michaels Community Center is a 501(C)(3) registered non-profit, with your donations deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Please consider helping our neighbors in need as part of your legacy by including the St. Michaels Community Center in your estate plans.
The St. Michaels Community Center’s Concerts in the Park Series will now begin at 6 p.m. on Thursdays starting June 8 and continuing through Aug. 31 at the waterfront Muskrat Park.
“We’re grateful to the Commissioners of St. Michaels for supporting this later start time in their permit approval,” said SMCC Executive Director Patrick Rofe. Rofe says the concerts were originally set to start at 5:30 p.m., with the start time change made in response to community feedback.
Eastern Shore-based Rosewood kicks off the series on June 8, with the dynamic and lush vocals of Sandy Ryder performing great standards from the ‘60s to today, including country, blues, and contemporary rock.
All 13 performances are listed on the St. Michaels Community Center’s website, with earlier performances including JCT 33, Sarah Campbell, New & Used Bluegrass, Ampersand, Down the Road, and more.
Concerts in the Park | Muskrat Park | Historic St. Michaels
2023 Music Line-Up:
June 8 - Rosewood
June 15 - JCT 33
June 22 - Sarah Campbell
June 29 - New & Used Bluegrass
July 6 - Blues Deville
July 13 - Ampersand
July 20 - Down the Road
July 27 - Southbound
August 3 - Three Penny Opera
August 10 - Chris Noyes
August 17 - Spark in Da Pan
August 24 - EmiSunshine
August 31 - Saved by Zero
Muskrat Park features an expansive lawn overlooking St. Michaels Harbor and the Miles River, with limited picnic tables and a covered gazebo for performances. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or their own seating, along with friends, family, neighbors, your leashed dog, or just yourself to enjoy the concerts. Picnics are encouraged, with alcohol prohibited.
Treats and drinks will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the children and adults served by the St. Michaels Community Center. Plenty of locally-owned restaurants and parking are also nearby.
The free concert series is made possible through the generous sponsorship of local businesses acknowledged at each concert. Concert series sponsors include Ava's Pizzeria & Wine Bar, The Blue Crab, Blue Heron Coffee, Bridges Land Management, Carpenter Street Saloon, The Crab Claw Restaurant, Diana’s Tilton Hilton, Eastern Shore Ship | Print | Connect, Foxy’s Harbor Grille, The Galley St. Michaels Gina’s Café, Guilford & Company, The Harmon Family, Higgins & Spencer, Higgins Yacht Yard, Hopkins Sales Company, Justine’s Ice Cream, Kevertin Pet Resorts, Log Canoe Inn, Love & Dreams Bay Cruises, Marasun Roofing, Mid-Atlantic Waste System, Olde Town Candy Company, Ophiuroidea "The O", Pemberton Pharmacy & Gifts, The Preppy Redneck, Rebecca Thomas Events, Ruse Restaurant, Shore Orthopedics, Shore United Bank, Simpatico Italy’s Finest, St. Michaels Running Company, Talbot Watermen Association, Tickler’s Crab Shack, Theo's Steaks, Sides & Spirits, Total Home Performance, Town & Country Wine, Liquor, Etc., Wades Point Inn on the Bay, The Wildset Hotel, and Wylder Hotels. Links for more about our sponsors can be found here.
Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit ensure children and adults from the Newcomb Bridge to Tilghman Island have the resources they need. More is at www.stmichaelscc.org.
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