Salvation Army nears goal

Published 11:06 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

With a recent $200,000 donation from the Landmark Foundation, the Salvation Army is at 92 percent of its fundraising goal for a new community building that will serve local youth.

The money from the foundation begun by Frank Batten Sr., the late chairman of Landmark Media Enterprises, which owns the Virginian-Pilot, is the latest in a string of large donations to the capital campaign for the building.

“We’re getting close, but we’re not there,” said Bobby Harrell, campaign chairman. “We still need a little bit more help.”


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The new building will be located next to the organization’s headquarters at 400 Bank St. The community center is planned to have basketball courts, a computer room, three classrooms and a wellness center. The Salvation Army envisions it as a place for community programs, after-school resources and programs to promote physical and spiritual health.

About $1.8 million of the $1.95 million needed has been raised, Harrell said. That includes enough money for construction as well as two years of operating expenses.

“We wanted to get a head start,” he said.

The organization has selected Randolph Hicks of Suffolk to be the architect for the project, Site Work South of Suffolk to do the site work, Parrish-Layne Design Group to do consulting on the site work and Art-Ray Corp. of Suffolk to do the site engineering. In addition, Suffolk lawyers and appraisers have worked on the project.

“We’re not really looking to anywhere else,” Harrell said. “We’re raising money in Suffolk, it’s a Suffolk community project and we want to use Suffolk people to build it and keep the jobs here.”

Harrell said at least eight different area companies are interested in bidding on the construction of the building. He expects the project to be available for bidding soon.

The following foundations have given more than $100,000:

• Landmark Foundation — $200,000

• Obici Healthcare Foundation — $100,000

Other donating foundations include: Pruden Foundation, Beazley Foundation, Birdsong Trust, Hampton Roads Foundation, TowneBank Foundation, Richard Bennett Foundation, CACOV, Greco Foundation, Good Samaritan Foundation, Ayco Foundation, SunTrust Bank Foundation and Farmers Bank Foundation.

Major gifts more than $100,000 include:

• Birdsong Peanuts — $330,000

• Cleo Butler Estate — $131,000

Other major gifts have come from BASF Corporation, Dwight Schaubach, Dick Barry, Charles Parr and Andy Damiani.

The rest of the money has come from 68 different businesses, individuals and civic clubs in amounts ranging from $50 to $20,000. Donations still are being accepted. Call 539-5201 for more information.