In an otherwise gloomy and COVID filled January, the hands on the sign of our building have shone out into the dark nights, and as I turn for home each evening have reminded me that the new building isn’t just bricks and mortar – it is a community.
Not only has it been built by the community and funded by the community, but it is a reflection of our community.
That was very apparent at the major donor ribbon cutting that we held in early January. Scaled back due to the COVID spike, the event was still a wonderful celebration of how the community came together to ensure that the building happened. From LTUSD giving us land, to Lisa Maloff and her incredible donation, to Steve Morales and Tom Haen providing pro bono guidance and expertise, and the City providing sewer units and waivers. At every step of the way the community has stepped forward to ensure it happened.
And at times it has not been easy. There have been days when we couldn’t afford the next phase of the build but somehow we managed to find some additional funding to carry on. We have built through a pandemic, a wildfire and some deep snow. Steve Morales joked at the ribbon cutting that “this was not a building that wanted to be built” considering the hoops we had to go through even just to lay foundations. But the important thing was that the community wanted it built.
Someone said to me early on that the last thing Tahoe needed was another hole in the ground, and that was why we were determined to push ahead, to keep going, to keep asking, and as soon as they saw we were serious, the response of the community has been incredible.
Our major donors range from entrepreneurs to retired school teachers; business owners to our own staff; local Foundations to family charities. Our donations range from $3.5 million to ten dollars, and include donations from Canada, the UK and Mexico. So many people have come together in support of the building, that it really is a testament to the strength and generosity of this community.
We hope to occupy the building in early March, and our message to our members will be that while the building may look like it is made from steel and wood, really it is built out of love, care and kindness.
If you are interested in supporting our project we still have doors and furniture that we need to purchase and pay for! More information can be found, and donations made, at bgclt.org/buildingbrightfutures Thank you!