The Duncan Banner

March 19, 2013

Youth Shelter moves closer to goal

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN —  

Three years have passed since a fundraising campaign began for a new youth shelter, but the work continues.
Money is still being collected to build a new Stephens County Youth Shelter. As of Monday, Youth Services of Stephens County had $751,045.43 in the bank slated for the construction of the new shelter.
The monetary goal is $1.1 million. Those funds will not only construct the building, but will also add safety precautions and furnish the shelter. The fundraising for the new building began in January 2010.
“We’re still working toward the $1.1 (million),” Barbra Davis, youth shelter director, said.
Before the fundraising began, the members of the Youth Services of Stephens County Board of Directors vowed to stay on the board until the money was raised and construction was underway to ensure the vision would stay the same. Around the same time, Gina Flesher was appointed as point person for the campaign.
Davis said money is still coming in, but it’s been a slow process because it’s a sizable amount of money being raised.
“We have been working hard for what we have,” Davis said. “We couldn’t do it without people. We’re so grateful. We need all the help we can get.”
During the past three years, there have been numerous fundraisers for the shelter held by various entities.
For instance, Heritage Oaks Church of the Nazarene held bean dinners in hopes of helping fund the construction. The Duncan High School’s first Leggo Week, which is a fundraising week for the school’s student council, raised $12,000 for the construction. Local businesses, including banks, have donated considerable amounts to the account.
Davis said there are plenty of people in Stephens County who are focused on helping the children. She said this is partially what’s helped move the fundraising process along.
“We’re wanting to increase their chances of success,” Davis said.
There are some groups planning fundraisers in the next few months, including a couple of motorcycle poker runs. She said any money collected will help move the shelter closer to construction.
But keeping an eye on fundraising isn’t the only thing Davis has been doing for the new shelter. She is making weekly visits to various businesses and civic groups to keep the youth shelter in the minds of individuals and to let everyone know what the goal is.
“I’m educating the community,” she said.
Construction on the new shelter won’t begin until all the money has been collected. This will avoid having any debt to be paid off.
Although construction may not begin for a while, Davis is positive about how things will turn out.
“Good things come to those who wait,” Davis said. “We will continue to do what we do and dream big.”