Thursday, May 13, 2010

Athenians Celebrate 30; Hear about Center Expansion, Financing

Athenian Society President Linda Adamo (left) talks to a packed house.^

Charter members of the organization were recognized.^

What may be the Roanoke Valley's premier group of pure community volunteers--the Athenian Society--celebrated its 30th anniversary today at the Hunting Hills Country Club. A full house showed up to honor eight charter members (of 41) who were in attendance.

The group heard from Center in the Square director Jim Sears about the organization's $27 million expansion project. The Athenians have been regular volunteers at Center since their founding and Sears estimates their hours of service last year equal $30,000 in in-kind contributions.

The Athenians will be working the Downtown Living Tour this weekend for the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge and have been involved with any number of organizations over the years.

Sears announced that the funding for the expansion is on the verge of approval. He said that Center has had to re-structure the financing because the current state of the economy left banks wary of large investments in projects like this. He said the organization has put together a consortium of five banks with the fifth expected to sign on any day now.

Work can begin on the renovations within a few weeks and will require about two years to complete, he said.

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