On April 27th, a couch left outside our Community center (awaiting transport to the land fill) was set on fire by two young boys attempting to hide from their parents to smoke a cigar. The couch flamed upward catching the exposed rafters on fire and spread into the community center causing severe damage (currently estimated at $130,000). The TriCounty Community Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity Community Center serving 3 counties in central Florida – Sumter, Hernando and Citrus – and is located at 28444 Forbes St, in Nobleton, Florida. The Center serves a significant need to many families with services that include (but are not limited to) a food pantry always open to local needs, a variety of classes, activities and events for every age group, and special attention to children and needy families at holiday times. During Hurricane Irma the Center served as an official shelter for several elderly and at-risk families. This August the center is designated as voting Precinct #1 for Hernando County.
The Center did not have fire insurance. Its support relies totally on donations and fund raising projects, and therefore it could not afford the expensive fire insurance. Thus, the rebuilding of the Center will be borne by the Center. Items that weren’t burned had severe smoke and water damage. All had to be removed and discarded.
The board members of the TriCounty Community Center Association have established a special account at Sun Trust Bank to receive donations for restoration. In addition, an account has been established on www.GoFundMe.com. Any way in which you can help, be it through the bank, via the internet, or by mailing directly to the Center (P.O. Box 115, Nobleton, Florida 34661) your check made payable to Tri-County Community Center (Memo “Rebuild”), you can be assured that the funds will be used for repairing the damage so the Center can return to their community work. Because the Center is a non-profit association, all donations are tax deductible and appropriate receipts will be given if requested.
When the work is done, there will be a great celebration at the re-opening of the Center. Look for the announcement in your local paper and consider yourself invited.