Archive for Thursday, April 17, 2003

Group raising roof money for chapel

April 17, 2003

Eudora area youth groups need the community's help to keep a roof over their heads.

The Salem Chapel, in the 700 block of Church St., which has opened its doors to local Boy Scout, Girl Scout and 4-H groups, needs a new roof soon.

"We'll have to wait, because we don't have the money to pay for it," said John Scott of the Eudora Youth Services Organization. "It's just something that has been needed for a while."

Normally, the EYSO has one fund-raiser a year to take care of the building's minor repairs and utilities. This year's fund-raiser didn't generate enough to cover the $10,000 needed for the roof. Moreover, Scott said the EYSO didn't want to ask the scout and 4-H groups to finance the repairs because it would interfere with the groups' operating costs.

For the time being, Scott said EYSO was looking for community donations, which can be sent in care of Kaw Valley Bank, 739 Main St.

Scott said the building had its roof repaired in 1974 when the former church was first renovated for its new use as a gathering place for youth activity groups. But as with any old building -- the chapel was built in 1870 -- repairs are par for the course.

"That building was owned by the Methodist church," Scott said. "At the time they were looking to tear it down, and we pushed them and said, 'Hey, we'd love to have this thing here.'"

From there, Scott said the EYSO was formed and the group came up with $5,000 and an agreement with the church to use the building. Now, he said groups used the chapel nearly every night of the week. Although 4-H had mostly outgrown the building, he said sometimes other groups had to split up between a front and back room, as well as make use of a grassy play area and yard that once housed the church's parsonage.

Scott said Glenn Wineinger, among others, had been instrumental in keeping the landmark available for Eudora's young people.

"I left here in '75 after we'd gotten it started," he said. "We came back in '87, and I was happy it was still going."

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