Elders challenged the community and the community responded. $78,000 raised for The Central.
Community exceeds the $55k that The Central was seeking.
The Central's Dian Ferguson updated the community as to the status of the $55 K Challenge and was very happy to report that the community rose to the occasion.
"The Central is grateful to the many civic organizations, friends, members, churches, social clubs Central District groups, councils, neighbors and friends who joined with us to meet this challenge. We have risen to the $55 K Challenge. Amazingly $78,000 has been raised to date." Dian Ferguson
The $55 K Challenge was launched on August 22, 2019 when Sound Generations (formerly known as Senior Services), informed "The Central" that there were no funds to transfer into CASC's newly established bank account for ongoing building maintenance.
The latter is a requirement from the Mayor.
The Mayor has appointed an Interdepartmental Team negotiating with The Central for the building ownership. In order to move forward to the next phase for building ownership an ongoing building maintenance fund with no less than $50K is required thus the $55 K Challenge.
Many in the community remain skeptical that the Mayor will follow through on the transfer of the property to The Central. It is widely believed in the community that Durkan is seeking to see The Central redeveloped into affordable housing. This despite her comments earlier this year at The State of Africatown in which she spoke of what a special place The Central is to her.
"People know that the Central Area Senior Center is one of my favorite places, there is no time that I have been there that I have not smiled and felt warm, and I think that it's not just enough that it stay with community" - Mayor Jenny Durkan
As for Ferguson and the team at The Central, after meeting the deadline to raise the funds, they continue negotiations with the City of Seattle hoping to finalize the transfer this year and secure The Central's future for once and for all.
"Historical community spaces remain as vital today as they did when they were conceived and birthed. They are more important today in the era of neighborhood displacement and gentrification particularly for an aging population whose memories are tied to a cultural and community space that is familiar with fond experiences." Dian Ferguson