Darla Hamlin is head of North Yarmouth’s Friends of Wescustogo group, which aims to raise $250,000 toward the under-construction Wescustogo Hall and Community Center. Alex Lear / The Forecaster

NORTH YARMOUTH — The road toward a $250,000 fundraising goal for the Wescustogo Hall and Community Center has been long and slow, but the Friends of Wescustogo hope a golf tournament in September will jump-start donations.

The new Wescustogo Hall, built next to the former North Yarmouth Memorial School and connected through a lobby on Route 9, is due to be complete this fall. Alex Lear / The Forecaster

The new Wescustogo, which replaces the former Grange that burned down on Route 115 in 2013, is being built at 120 Memorial Highway (Route 9). It is attached via a lobby to a renovated and partially demolished former North Yarmouth Memorial School, and the project is due to be completed this fall.

Barrett Made, a Portland-based design and build firm, has been building the 17,000-square-foot community center. Voters in June 2018 narrowly approved a $3.4 million bond for the work; the nearly $286,000 first debt service payment is in the town’s fiscal year 2020 budget.

The Friends of Wescustogo aims to raise $250,000 for the project, of which a little more than $8,000 had been raised to date, Darla Hamlin, chairwoman of the ad hoc group, said July 24. On top of that, the group has $4,500 in sponsor donations for its Sept. 26 benefit golf tournament, to be held at the Toddy Brook Golf Course at 925 Sligo Road.

Registration information was due to be posted online this week, Hamlin said. She can be reached at 831-0160, and the Town Office at 829-3705, for more information.

Arguably the top perk of the day: a free car, donated by Casco Bay Ford, for the first person to sink a hole-in-one.

Hamlin said Marion Goff, a North Yarmouth nonagenarian on a fixed income who donated $1,000 to the cause, shares her vision for what the new community center will mean to the town.

“She wants the future to be as good to our children as it was to her,” Hamlin said.

“The way life is today, we absolutely must be together as a community,” she added, noting the new center will allow residents from all walks of life and interests to congregate in one space and share each other’s company.

Other ways to donate are posted at northyarmouth.org/friends-wescustogo/pages/donation-options. Payments can be made by credit card or check through the website.

They include sponsorship of a barn board, to be incorporated into Wescustogo’s lobby wall paneling and engraved with the name of the donor, or for a special person, such as a friend or family member. The roughly 12-by-20-inch boards can be contributed by donors or the Friends can provide one.

The cost of having the board included, which covers the laser engraving, costs $250. Payment must be received by Aug. 30. As of last week the Friends had sold 21, and the space could hold roughly 80 boards, Hamlin estimated.

A mosaic art display of the original Wescustogo, composed of photos of residents and supporters of the project, is another campaign vehicle. People can contribute one picture for $50, or three for $100, through Aug. 30.

The print will be 48 square feet, made up of photos that are 1 1/2-inch square. The mosaic can comprise about 3,000 photos.

Photos can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Friends of Wescustogo, c/o Town of North Yarmouth, 10 Village Square, North Yarmouth, ME 04097. Original pictures will be returned.

Naming rights is another option. A $100,000 contribution will allow someone to name the gym; it is $75,000 for the community room, $25,000 for a Wescustogo wing, and $15,000 for the kitchen. The donation must be paid up front, in full.

The town is required to borrow enough money to complete the project, and what comes through fundraising “will have a positive impact on the bottom line; any excess of bond funds after the project is complete will be put towards interest and then principal,” Town Manager Rosemary Roy explained in March.


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