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Community Center Asks Eastonites For Help

EASTON, Conn. – The Easton Community Center has served the needs of Easton and surrounding towns for the past nine years. Now the center is turning to the community for help in its annual appeals letter.

“I think this might be one of the greatest misconceptions, but we received absolutely zero money from the town of Easton,” said Bob DeVellis, co-president of the center's board of directors. He said the center relies completely on donations, fundraising and membership fees to pay for its programs.

Co-president Fred Tencic declined to comment on the community center’s annual operating budget. He did say, however, “that expenses do exceed revenue, therefore donations and fundraisers are necessary to fill the deficit.”

“In regards to expenses, yes, payroll is clearly the biggest expense. We also have significant utility/heating costs, insurance costs, maintenance of the facility,” Tencic said in an email. The annual appeals letter says the center has seen a 15 percent rise in utility costs alone this year.

DeVellis said the appeals letter is not about turning a profit but “about doing the greater good for the Easton community.” The center offers programs for almost every age group for members from Easton and surrounding towns.

Adult members have access to various events, enrichment programs and athletic programs and teams year-round. There are also recreational sports programs for teens and children. In addition, the center is a popular spot for Eastonites to hold birthday parties, celebrate the holidays and attend winter and summer camps.

Members of the community center’s Teen Center perform several service projects throughout the year, giving back to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children's Hospital and the new Animal Control Shelter on Morehouse Road.

“We are about health fitness, free afterschool programs and teen leadership camps. We teach young kids how important it is to give back, and that is what we want the community to understand,” DeVellis said.

“I want people to know that their donations will help us keep these great things going. Because of their generosity we will be able to do 100 great things with it. This isn’t about getting kids together to play soccer. The Easton Community Center is about helping kids change the world,” DeVellis said.

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