The board has been working hard to put together the application for a Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) Grant.
We reached out to local and surrounding areas for support. We had a good response on memberships, as we started with 18 and we are now at 65; plus, we have received 40 letters of support for our Foundation Wall project. Cash donations of $4,400 have come in this month and we sincerely appreciate every donor. Watch for the Fund Raising Update on the Hall Sign! Thanks to all who have reached out to our community. We received some very beautifully written letters of support and have included just one of them in this article. Thanks to Susan and Craig Graham.
Letter of Support for the Foundation Wall Restoration Project, Square Butte Community Hall
Dear Mary Ann and Board of Directors:
The Square Butte Community Hall has, and continues to be, an integral gathering place, landmark, source of community spirit, and fabric of what our community stands for – past, present and future.
I have grown up in this community and as a child attended functions with my parents when the Square Butte Community Hall served as the primary, and most often only, source of socialization and camaraderie for area residents. When the Hall was moved to its present location, my parents joined many of our neighbors to help move it onto its foundation, install electricity, and eventually plumbing (which our local Square Butte LadiesGroupfundraisedforbywayofa walk-a-thon – which they jokingly referred to as a “John-a-thon”). Through my childhood and into adulthood, the Hall was upgraded and expanded and there were functions (at least) every single month which allowed for the community to celebrate and honour each other, maintain the Hall, and provide enough income to ensure its viability so the community could flourish. Our Hall was (and continues to be) the gathering place for community potlucks, dances, “Farmers Day” celebrations, Canada Day celebrations, card games, Halloween parties, children’s Christmas concerts, breakfasts, dinners and picnics, wedding and baby showers, Wedding receptions, anniversaries, meetings, Community programs, exercise classes, memorials, … and countless other celebrations. Our Hall is truly a beacon of community collaboration, volunteerism and celebration.
I celebrated my own wedding reception in this historic building 30 years ago and went on to serve on the Community’s Board of Directors in various capacities for decades. I have joined fellow community members in work bees and fundraising efforts to ensure that the Hall not only remained viable, but continued to THRIVE. Our Hall is in high demand for rental opportunities for weddings, family functions, Christmas celebrations, showers, meetings, workshops and dinners by both community members and the general public.
We have recently improved our Hall in many ways including (but not limited to): an updated septic, heating and water system; expanded and improved gardens and landscaping; purchased new tables and chairs; upgraded the kitchen with a commercial dishwasher; installed a new sound system; renovated and painted the entire basement including washrooms; improved the electrical panel and wiring; painted the exterior deck, installed a wheelchair ramp and trim; and had pavement installed for easier wheelchair access. Keeping our Hall as a functioning hub of community focus is critical, and we MUST move forward with restoring its foundation so it will be available for our next generations.
The old Square Butte School, which was a focal point for all community events, would host the annual end of school picnic. All would gather for a potluck picnic and ball game while various contests were held. One contest in particular was the egg hunt and it was quite memorable. The idea was to collect as many eggs as possible from nests placed up and in the surrounding trees, but unknown to the contestants, some nests had peanut butter in them! The searchers who found these nests had the best stories.
We look forward to scheduling community activities like the picnic at the hall once again this fall, just as soon as it is safe to do so. Watch this space for information about planned events.
Submitted by Mary Ann Watson