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Fort Ritchie Community Center Earns Matching Grant

(9/11) Thanks to the support of local individuals and businesses, the Fort Ritchie Community Center has earned a $15,000 matching grant from the Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation. The fundraising appeal by the Community Center to match the grant amount officially started in March and ended in August.

"The response to the matching grant challenge demonstrates how passionate local residents are about the Community Center." said Buck Browning, executive director of the community center. "The funds raised through this appeal will provide the resources necessary to improve and expand our programs," he added.

One of the new programs to be offered by the Community Center will be a Kidís Club that features sports, arts, and social recreation activities on a weekly basis. Browning said the idea for the new initiative is based upon the success of the Centerís summer camp program. Initially Kidís Club will be scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. -7:30 p.m., however, if the community response warrants it, the program may be expanded to multiple evenings per week.

The Community Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Cascade, on the former Fort Ritchie property. The effort to secure the matching funds began with the Community Centerís volunteer board of directors but grew to include other interested individuals.

"The Fletchers were well known in this area and several of the donors that helped raise the matching funds knew Mrs. Fletcher personally," Browning said. "Itís inspiring to have so many local people concerned about the community and our future."

The Fort Ritchie Community Center opened in September of 2008. The center features a fitness center, weight-room, two gymnasiums, a computer lab, and group exercise classes. In addition to the youth summer program, the center also hosts community events such as a speaker series, craft shows, holiday parties, and fishing tournaments. For more information on the community center, please call 301-241-5085 or visit online www.thefrcc.org.

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