Kitchen Renovation Community collaboration improves Parks Place

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BELLOWS FALLS — Parks Place Community Resource Center has been home to the Greater Falls community for more than 20 years. Creating and maintaining a safe and comfortable space for everyone in our community has always been a priority to us, and the recent renovation of our kitchen has brought us closer to that goal. A dripping faucet, counter tops covered in contact paper, and a crowded pantry made our kitchen a less than welcoming place, and one that did not reflect the feeling of "home" that we pride ourselves on creating.The Bellows Falls Rotary Club made a commitment to assist with the renovation in the form of labor and funding.

A special thanks to Ed Dinnany who assisted with the budget, design and coordination of the project and to David Stern for drafting designs for the remodel. Keith Clark headed the demolition crew that removed a pantry wall and expanded the space. A huge thank you to Ed, David and Keith, as well as, Matt Guild, Hugh Haggerty, Rick Govotski, Eric Anderson, Rod Miller, Rita Hinds, Doreen Aldrich, Bonnie Clark and grandson Hunter who generously gave their time. Additionally, we want to thank Betty Haggerty for her delicious coffee cake, Shona's Grill for providing lunch for the work crew, and Bill Barbarow for the much needed coffee break.Thanks to the generosity of individuals and organizations over the years, we are able to make updates in our facilities that improve everyone's experience here at Parks Place. Organizations that were instrumental in the kitchen renovation include the Bellows Falls Rotary Club, LaValley's, Cota and Cota, Matt's Painting, Sherwin Williams, Sears — The Home Town Store, Ben Madow and Silver Forest, Miriam Lanata, Mascoma Bank, artists Charlie Hunter and Shane Harris, Ann and Vinnie Dibernardo, Green Mountain Power, Image Outfitters iShare charitable donation program, Clark & Ulitsch Electric, Bruce Bennett and Mike Brown.

Without their hard work and dedication this project would not have been possible.The improvements to the kitchen have generated an open-concept design that is easy to navigate while still respecting the rich historical character of the building. The kitchen was completed over the course of two weekends.

The first "official" kitchen program started with UVM extension's "Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program" (EFNEP) which helps folks stretch their food dollar and eat healthier too.Here at Parks Place we genuinely appreciate the value of collaboration; if not for our desire to work together as a community, Parks Place would not be able to provide the services and supports that our center is known for. We owe a very big thank you to the Bellows Falls Rotary Club for their hard work and dedication to transforming our kitchen into a beautiful place that we look forward to sharing with community

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