By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
The Moravia Community Center now has kitchen cabinets to ooh and aah over.
"They're beautiful," Esther West, of Moravia, said during an interview at the Daily Iowegian office Monday morning. "Everybody's excited. They are solid wood. It's a whole new look and it's beautiful, it really is."
The new cabinets were installed the week of Oct. 29. It was West who was instrumental in getting the ball rolling to replace the cabinets.
West was instrumental in securing a $5,000 matching grant in state gambling funds from the South Central Iowa Community Foundation. Next it was up to local business, individuals and organizations to raise $5,000 to match the grant.
"This was an extraordinary effort by the community and the businesses to step up because we never expected to raise that money," West said. "Now the kitchen is really most of a centerpiece. I'm so excited we got it done."
One of the biggest contributors to the matching money were the Moravia Ruritans who gave $2,000, West said. Other money was raised through fundraisers in the community, residents and businesses.
West is a volunteer driver with the Moravia Community Meals Project three days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday — and they use the Moravia Community Center to make the meals to be delivered or eaten there. A meal cost $3 and is available to anyone who wants one.
"And the Moravia Community Meals Project probably uses that kitchen more than any other entity," West said.
During the time the new kitchen cabinets were being installed, Spencer Grocery in Moravia provided the meals for the Meals Project.
West said she read about the funding opportunity in the paper and because of her work with the Moravia Community Meals Project she knew the 30-year-old kitchen cabinets needed to be replaced.
She started the paperwork in the spring of this year and was notified of the grant money in June and received the check in July.
Three bids to replace and install new kitchen cabinets were received initially, West said. At the last minute Paul Borntreger, a cabinet maker in Cincinnati, submitted a bid of $8,500, which turned out to be the lowest bid for the project, West said.
Members of the community came forward to volunteer their time and expertise for the project: Don West and Jerry Boblenz helped to install the cabinets; John Baty provided electrical and plumbing services; and Zak Bedford and Ellis Paxston with the city maintenance department contributed their services.
West called the center a hub for community activities used by local clubs and residents for special gatherings.
The mayor of Moravia, Dave Fenton, extended his thanks to all who generously contributed or volunteered their time and skills to complete this project for the benefit of the entire community.