Gaston Community Foundation Breaks Ground on Its New Headquarters Shaping the Future for Gaston County
GASTONIA, N.C., Dec. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid, Gaston Community Foundation Board members, elected officials, local business leaders and community service organizations gathered for a groundbreaking at the foundation’s construction site on South New Hope Road in Gastonia.
The ceremony highlighted the start of construction for one of Gastonia’s oldest and largest philanthropic organizations. The Community Foundation was chartered in 1978 with a $726,000 grant from the Garrison General Hospital and has grown to over $120 million dollars in total assets.
The group was welcomed by President of the Foundation, Ernest Sumner, and Mayor Reid. The Mayor applauded the economic growth the new facility provides for Gastonia. He noted, “the emergence of the New Hope Road corridor will provide new jobs and much needed investment in our community.”
Andy Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale Mills, and a Board Member of the Foundation and a member of the new building campaign committee, outlined the vision of the new project. Warlick noted how this project can become the economic driver for not only this new business corridor but for all of Gaston County. Warlick introduced Marsh Spencer, a former Foundation Board member, who has agreed to oversee the construction phase of the 10-million-dollar facility. The general contractor for the project is Shelco and the architects are LS3P, both from Charlotte, NC. The building has a planned opening date of the Fall of 2022. In addition, it will include space for other community organizations and businesses.
Tim Efird, former Chairman of the Foundation noted that, “the Board was most accepting of this gift of land and a significant gift to start the fundraising campaign.” He also noted that, “just in 2020, the Foundation had provided over 6.8 million dollars to non-profit community organizations and is especially proud of how the business, government and community has come together to support this project.”
Efird introduced 12 community leaders who have been positively impacted by the Foundation, and they gave moving testimony of how the Foundation’s support has, in many cases, helped them “keep the lights on” and perform much needed community outreach. Presenters included student members of the Foundation’s Teens Changing Gaston County Program and CaroMont CEO Chris Peek, members of the Next Generation Fund and current board members. Rick Craig, grandson of one the three founders, ED Craig closed the ceremony with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to shape our future is to create it.”
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