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Albion unveils event center design

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS — Displaying their Major Gift Certificates for donations to Growing Albion for a new Event and Community Center are (from left) Tami and Merle Mann, rural Oskaloosa, and Mary Dooley, who accepted on behalf of her brother, the late Dr. Stephen Knudson.

ALBION — At the Rail-Trail Festival on Saturday, the design for a new Event and Community Center was unveiled in a ceremony recognizing major donors to the project.

Growing Albion, Inc., the community’s nonprofit organization, awarded a certificate of appreciation to Merle and Tami Mann of Oskaloosa for their donation of $20,000 in memory of his parents, Clarence and Sharon Mann. Dr. Stephen Knudson was recognized posthumously for including Growing Albion in his will with a bequest of $41,000.

“These two gifts from people who grew up in Albion have really kick-started our fundraising for this Event and Community Center,” Wade Dooley, president of Growing Albion, Inc., said. “And we really appreciate their generosity. It’s a huge effort for a town of our size to raise over a million dollars and it may take us several years, but with this kind of support, we’re confident we can build what this area really needs.”

The Event and Community Center will be located north of the Albion Municipal Library and is designed to harmonize with the library. While the interior layout is being finalized, plans call for a 350-seat banquet hall, small meeting room/office and space for a café with a commercial kitchen.

“We researched what size was needed in the area and we’re planning an attractive building that people will want to use,” Dooley said. “It will be a great venue for all kinds of events, from conferences to wedding receptions to community and library events. We also really want to recruit a small restaurant business and lease the café facilities to them. Albion had a great restaurant for years in Pork & More Café and we’ve all missed it.”

Albion Event and Community Center.

Dooley said the Event and Community Center is a project of Growing Albion, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit, and gifts are tax-deductible. Dooley emphasized that Growing Albion, Inc., was formed to facilitate projects that will “add beauty and value to our community.”

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