On Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 2pm the Club held a very small but lovely groundbreaking ceremony that included Lisa Maloff, the Angel of Tahoe. Lisa has donated $3 million to our new building and we were so delighted that she could join us on a very special day.
We Broke Ground!
Lisa is 91 years young, but due to her age, and to maximize social distancing, she stayed in her car for the ceremony. She was however able to put her pink shovel in the dirt and Ricky Reich was able to say on her behalf how happy she was to be helping the Club and how the children of South Lake Tahoe have always had a very special place in Lisa’s heart.
In recognition of everything she has done for the Club and our community, Lisa was gifted with a pink shovel for her museum, pink facemasks, including one made by Club member Natalie Hanson, and a bouquet of pink roses, given to her by Club member Matthew Borchers.
A small group of Board Members, contractors and representatives from LTUSD and the media were present. Haen Constructors are the general contractors for the project and Tom Haen has been a long time member of the South Lake Optimist Club and supporter of local children’s charities, including the Club. His son, Robert, won over the bid team when he said it would be an honor to work on one of ‘The Angel’s’ buildings.
So many people have time and energy getting to this point in the Club’s history, many of them without payment! Special mention must be given to Steve Morales, who is donating all his time managing the project (and that time is considerable!). Jay Kniep who managed the permitting process with TRPA pro-bono. Hillary Roverud, Acting City Development Manager and Club mom who advocated for the Club at the City and TRPA, Ed Cook who donated free labor, South Tahoe Refuse who are donating their services and of course, Jeff Tillman, who has dedicated 29 years to the Club and for whom the Club building will be the realization of over 30 years of work.
Thanks to Lisa, and other early donors, the Club has raised enough funding to get four walls and a roof completed this year. The remainder of the project will be done in stages as additional funds are raised. The majority of the room sponsorships in the building are still available and business or individuals wanting to help the Club should contact Jude Wood at email@example.com
The Club did consider whether, in this time of crisis for our community and Country, it was appropriate to move ahead with the building project but two factors encouraged us to continue. Firstly, large sums of money had already been spent on the design and preparation of the site, and with steel and lumber prices rapidly increasing, it was important to avoid further escalation of costs due to delay.
Secondly, our community will weather this crisis and when we come out of it, more than ever before, our kids are going to need a safe, fun and educational place to go during ‘out of school’ time. Somewhere to hang out with friends, do amazing art projects, meet kids from other schools and walks of life, and have the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe and caring environment. So we need a home that is ours alone and that is designed for our kids and built and funded by our community.
Hopefully when that dream is finally a reality, COVID-19 will be a distant bad memory and we can have a huge party to celebrate. We hope that you’ll join us!