Milestone dates in 2019
November 25, 2019
We sign the license agreement (also known as the 5 year lease) with the School District. Here is a photo of Amelia doing the honors. Happy Thanksgiving to the community!
We are in final lease negotiations with the Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District.The photo at the right is of our lease meeting with Superintendent Yolanda Valdez at the head of the table.
September 16, 2019
The "Initial Directors" of Dotty Woolum, Larry Jordan and Pat Cassen (see photo at top right) performed their legally prescribed duties: (1)Accept the By-Laws (2)Elect the first Board of Directors and (3)Authorize opening a bank account.
Serving as Directors of the Board : Amelia Williams (President), Gail McClard (Treasurer), Joni Jordan (Secretary), Sulfiati Harris (Programs) and Dusty Garner (Farmer's Market ). The By-Laws allow up to 13 Directors. This board of 5 will get things going and we have room to grow as needed. Their photo is also at the right.
September 16, 2019
The bylaws are complete, thanks to over 3 months of work by the 8 member formation committee. Led by Amelia Williams the committee included Jack Huneke, Jeff Koonz, Joni Jordan, Julie Harcos, Lynn Knudson, Pat Cassen and Sulfiati Harris.
August 14, 2019
We receive a certified copy from the CA Secretary of
State that as of August 1st we are a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation.
August 3, 2019
We put on a succesful event that brings in just over $3000 profit after all expenses paid. When added to the amount from the Go Fund Me we have raised $4000.
June 26, 2019
Eddie Valero, the Tulare County Supervisor for District 4 (includes Badger) announces that we have received a Points of Light award, which comes with a $1000 donation to our project that we received at an awards dinner.
June 20, 2019
The School District approves the creation of a Community Center here! Now we can go forward with applying for our non-profit so we can officially open.
BBQ & Auction Event
Sulfiati Harris and her friends Robert and Helena Mertens had been talking for months in 2018 about the possibility of a community center at the Sierra school. Sulfiati brought up the idea to Lloyd McClard at the Father's Day Breakfast at the Chamber building in Miramonte. She knew him because his granddaughters had come to the first summer camps she had run at Seven Circles in Badger. He brought the idea to the Superintendent of the School District that still owned the school, who came up for a visit to discuss the idea. Conversations continued. Amelia Williams and her husband Emmanuel moved to the area in September. Amelia's experience and knowledge in non-profit organization brought the exact expertise we needed.
In late December the School District sent a crew to clear the building of all unwanted items (allowing us first to go through and indicate which items should be left for the center). They also washed the windows and walls and cleaned the carpets. We started mailing out postcards and posting other information, and held several meetings. This brought us to Phase 1, see below.
Phase 1. Needs Assessment & Community Outreach
We are a local action group of community members working with the Cutler/Orosi Joint Unified School District to set this up. Our first task was to complete a Community Needs Assessment. This is completed. We put on several community meetings and had 153 replies to our survey. 86% agreed that there is a need for this community center. Details are on the Survey page of the website.
Phase 2. Project Development
We currently working on:
1. Setting up our non-profit organization and finding sources of funding: As of June 1 we have an active Formation Committee to set up the non-profit and a Fundraising Committee dedicated to raising funds.
2. Working with community members to identify potential offerings: As of June 8 we have begun concrete plans for programs, classes & events at the Center. More info to come.
3. Working with agencies in the local valley cities that could provide services at the Center: We have identified programs in both Tulare and Fresno counties that could benefit us.
4. Creating a business plan that will estimate the running costs once and identifying potential sources of income, including grants: We are working on this as we get information from all the committees and will have the first draft of it done when we next meet with the School District.Reports from both the June 1 and June 8 meeting are on the Meeting Reports of this website.
Phase 3. Opening the Community Center
We cannot open the community center until Phase 2 is complete.
1. In order to open the center must finish establishing our own non-profit.
2. We are working on a viable beginning business plan to demonstrate our ability to run the community center, including how it will be promoted, funded, and staffed as it provides educational and beneficial activities and services to the community.
Where are we in the process?
Here are the most current steps we have completed:
At the June 20, 2019 the School Board of the Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District approved the use of Sierra School as the Sequoia Community Center.
We have completed setting up the non-profit corporation for Sequoia Community Center in the State of California and have our Employer Identification Number (EIN).
We have received a "License Agreement" from the school district (which serves as the lease agreement). As of October 10 we are setting up an appointment to negotiate and sign the agreement.
We have raised just over $5000 for start-up costs . We are still developing a business plan now that we will soon have the agreement with the school district and know the parameters to work within.
For more info call or email Sulfiati Harris, 559-336-9362,