(Photo above by Caleb Thomas)
Redmond Experience Activity Connection Hub
In just one year, REACH has become a recognizable name in Redmond. Formerly the Redmond Boys and Girls Club, REACH (Redmond Experience Activity Connection Hub) is beginning the final phase of its transformation with the help of Redmond’s best. Since leaving the national organization to focus on the unique needs of Redmond, the growth of REACH includes not only the youth and families who depend on the services, but the local support and donor base is also growing.
“REACH provides an invaluable service to the Redmond community for the work they do in ensuring kids are receiving a solid education in a safe place during non-school hours. REACH and the Redmond School District (RSD) are working toward the same goal of educating kids to be productive members of society and I cannot think of a better partner in this endeavor,” said Mike McIntosh, RSD superintendent.
Recently, Lowe’s Heroes Project provided materials, supplies and volunteers to give the whole facility a much needed upgrade. A sleek, high-tech, 21st Century look replaced the worn and unprofessional décor. Many other local businesses joined the effort. For example, Ridgeline Metal donated materials to modernize the upgrade with an aluminum wainscoting throughout the well-used building. Lowe’s Valspar rep offered ten gallons of paint to finish the ceiling. Paul Rodby, owner of McDonald’s of Redmond, former Board Chair, made sure staff and volunteers were well fed during the week-long work party! Cox Custom Welding discounted their service and powder coated the intake and heating vents to match the new, shiny metal accents and Michael Reger, President of Sunburst Fabrication, LLC picked up the tab! Mr. Reger has also donated funds to create the Sunburst Science Station, bringing state of the art furnishings and equipment to further enhance the REACH STEM Experience (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
The fresh look inspired REACH to apply for a grant through the Oregon Community Foundation to expand the building’s capacity to serve thirty-forty more youth each day after school, bringing daily attendance to over 150 youth. With additional financial support from Hayden Homes and F.J. Hodecker Family Fund, the existing garage will become the new Games Space, hosting a variety of equipment, like ping pong and pool tables. Steve Beuttner, President at Sunwest Builders, has agreed to take on the remodel project and plans drawn up by Jeff Wellman of 541Architecture have been submitted to the City of Redmond.
“We are so fortunate to own this facility and the property. We are dedicated to using the building efficiently and to care for it proactively. REACH belongs to Redmond and we have a responsibility to meet the growing demand for services,” says Jenny O’Keefe, Executive Director since September, 2014. REACH recently hired an experienced Facilities Manager to ensure the buildings and vehicles are maintained properly and to budget for repairs and preventative maintenance. “We plan to be here for a long time. We are tremendously grateful to all of our constituents for investing in the future of Redmond’s young people.”
Another exciting addition to REACH will be more focus on Music in the Arts. Ms. Candy Wood has provided funds for modern furnishings to make music and art activities more functional for the youth. Once finished, the Wood Music and Art Space will also include ukuleles! “Candy represents the best of Redmond. Her donations represent her confidence in who we are and what we do. That has immeasurable value. We are honored to put her name above the door.” In memory of Bob and Kaye Eberhard, whose generosity provides milk to the free breakfast each day, the REACH cafeteria will be named the Eberhard Assembly Space.
REACH needs to raise the final $40,000 to complete the transformation. The Education Space and Games Space naming rights are still available. For more information and to donate, contact Jenny O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-316-1989