One Acre Cafe works to meet the match

Sue Guinn Legg • Oct 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM

One week out from the Oct. 31 deadline on its $10,000 Match Gift Challenge, One ACRE Cafe has received $8,000 toward the matching donation and is renewing its request for help meeting the gift’s full potential.Jan Orchard, executive director of the nonprofit cafe soon to open on West Walnut Street, said the community’s response to the challenge has been encouraging and expressed confidence the match will be met in full.“I think we’ll make it. I think people will rally,” she said. Since an anonymous supporter issued the $10,000 challenge in early October, the cafe received one $3,000 donation, a couple of $1,000 checks and good reports of a very healthy turnout at last week’s two-night Give Back at Ruby Tuesday’s benefit.While the $8,000 received since the challenge went out is exciting, Orchard said meeting the full match would secure a total of $20,000 to help sustain the cafe through its first six months of operation. And the nonprofit cafe’s supporters remain hopeful. ”We are just $2,000 away from meeting our goal ... within reach of the full $10,000,” and are “hopeful our goal of $20,000 will be met by October 31 when the Match Gift Challenge comes to an end,” she said. Meanwhile, the cafe continues to take shape. In the dining room, there’s a new row of booths by the bay of windows facing Walnut Street. The lounge area has been fully furnished by Zak’s Fine Furniture. Executive chef Matt Clark is hard at work on the kitchen setup and food inventory. City workers are installing new curbing and sidewalks along the street. The parking lot paving is lined up. The awning for the entrance is scheduled to got up next week. And the certificate of occupancy needed for the cafe’s soft opening is expected in November.For those who wish to help get the cafe up and running, donations made before Oct. 31 will be included in the total $10,000 Match Gift Challenge. All donations to the cafe are tax-deductible and may be made through the PayPal link at the One Acre Cafe Facebook page or by mail to One ACRE Cafe, P.O. Box 3411, Johnson City, TN 37602. For more information, call Orchard at 833-8033 or email jan@oneACREcafe.org, or call Cafe Administrator Michelle Watts at 218-7900 or email michelle@oneACREcafe.org. It’s Blind Awareness Month, and the new Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind is planning something fun Saturday afternoon at Holiday Lanes.Bowling in the Dark, three hours of unlimited bowling with the lights down low and blindfolds optional for sighted bowlers up to the challenge people with visual impairment experience on the lanes, will be held from 2-5 p.m. at the bowling alley at 117 Broyles Drive. Admission is $15 and includes shoe rental. Proceeds will be used to help get the word out to people all over Northeast Tennessee who are visually impaired that the new chapter is here and eager to help them become more active in their communities.In addition to promotional efforts for the new chapter, Vice President Joyce Gouge said proceeds from Saturday’s benefit will help with a couple of holiday celebrations, including a chapter Christmas party at which the membership hopes to provide special interactive toys for area youngsters who are blind and visually impaired.For more information about the local NFB chapter or Saturday’s benefit, call Gouge at 483-6965 or email Courtney Williams at northeasttnchapter@yahoo.com.Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is making the move to its new Kingsport facility with plans to be up and running at the former Sam’s Club property at 1020 Jericho Drive by Nov. 1.Improvements to the 112,000-square-foot warehouse have been extensive. There’s more work yet to be done. And the food bank’s $1.3 million capital campaign to complete the renovations is continuing.Executive Director Rhonda Chafin said while the capital campaign has been conducted quietly, foundation support and in-kind gifts from local contractors and building supply companies have been most generous. The food bank has also used some of its reserve funds for work and equipment essential to the move. To restore the reserves and complete the renovations, approximately $500,000 of the total $1.3 million project goal is still needed. For those who wish to help, donations designated for the Second Harvest “building fund” may be made online at www.netfoodbank.org or by mail to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, 127 Dillon Court, Gray, TN 37615If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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