LEWISTON – Volunteers from supporting communities, churches and businesses will join for a demolition workday at the future site of The Root Cellar – Lewiston from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 21.

The inner-city community center, located at 89 Birch St., is in need of complete renovation.

The Root Cellar – Lewiston is projected to open in the fall and will connect volunteers from local churches with the needs of youth and families in the downtown district. In response to a recognized need for healthy, safe and affordable activities for area youth, the center will initially focus on youth programming and will be located close to area schools and easily accessible on foot.

Efforts to raise the resources necessary to renovate the facility in time for the grand opening in October are under way. Several businesses and individuals have offered to donate time and resources toward the renovation project. However, more manpower, materials and funding are needed. The Root Cellar is privately supported and receives no city, state or federal funding.

After 20 years of serving the needs of an impoverished neighborhood in Portland, The Root Cellar is looking forward to expanding the mission to Lewiston.

Executive Director Dale Carlson said, “The goal of The Root Cellar has been to expand into areas where there has been an expressed physical and spiritual need. The need in Lewiston is clear and we are blessed to be called to serve.”

The Root Cellar began in 1984 as a teen center in the basement of a church on Munjoy Hill in Portland and has grown into a 17,000-square-foot facility supporting 85-plus hours of programs weekly run by approximately 150 volunteers. Programs include after-school activities, teen center, medical and dental clinics, food and clothing distributions and ESL programs.

Recipient of the 2002 Governor’s Award for Non-Profit Excellence, The Root Cellar’s mission is to meet the physical and spiritual needs of inner-city youth and their families while building relationships that demonstrate the love and hope of Jesus Christ.

For additional information, contact The Root Cellar at 774-3197 or visit www.therootcellar.org.

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