Friday, December 13, 2013
A crowd gathered at the corner of Front Street and Merriman Road Wednesday to take part in a day that was more than six-and-a-half years in the making.
A ribbon cutting was held for the Mitney Project at what was once G&G Wholesale warehouse.
Now, it is a center that offers programs that will help people — not only in the West End but from all over Georgetown — enjoy a more rewarding life.
The Mitney Project was the brainchild of local business owner Barbara Huell who expressed her gratitude for everyone who helped make the goal of a new home a reality.
Until now, most programs offered by Mitney were taking place at the Howard Adult Center.
“Your encouragement and support and kind words helped make this a success,” Huell told those in attendance.
“With your help we took an old stone wall building and turned it into something beautiful.”
Huell said there were numerous monetary donors, some who gave more than $1,000 each.
An anonymous donor contributed $17,500. It was Mitney’s largest non-member contribution, Huell said.
During the ceremony, State Rep. Carl Anderson presented Huell with a framed proclamation signed by lawmakers praising the work of the project.
He also announced another $1,000 contribution.
Because of the generosity, the new headquarters opened ahead of schedule. The completion was originally set for 2014.
The new facility will house a comprehensive, results-driven youth and adult development project comprised of arts and social programs and services.
It also is the site of a new medical facility that will offer a variety of services with a focus on childhood obesity and diabetes.
Some of the programs the Mitney Project currently provides include: Gotta Have Art!, In-Step Dance Studio and Musical Theatre Studio, High Note Music Lab, Think Space Design Lab – Robotics, Glitterbox Photo and Film Studio, Big Shot Sound Studio, Log On! — Computer Lab, T.I.G.E.R. (Teaching and Inspiring Greater Educational Readiness) Mentoring, B.O.O.S.T (Building Options and Opportunities for Start-ups), Fitness and Wellness, Social Development Events.
The West End, according to the organization’s website, is home to 20 percent of the population of Georgetown, approximately 700 of which are youths age 6-16.
United States Department of Agriculture Area Director George W. Hicks Jr. said when he met Huell several years ago and she was talking about the Mitney Project, she said people — especially children — deserve better in Georgetown.
He said the USDA has provided grant money in the amount of $100,000 and it was “money well spent.”