Making A 'Wow'

Children Benefit From Pheasant Run Community Center Re-do

The value of volunteer time and materials donated to re-model the community center at Homeport’s Pheasant Run: $10,000. The look on children’s faces upon seeing the work for the first time: Priceless.

Several after school program students entering the community center on Jan. 19, at the apartments in Reynoldsburg, mouthed the word “wow” upon seeing bright, newly painted walls with spunky designs, and new flooring.

“It’s very cheery,” said Legend Goodwin, 15, a sophomore at Pickerington North High School. “It’s better. It makes me energized. Happy!  It looks like something you would see in a TV show. It is so nice!”

“It gives it a very friendly look,” said Kelleigh Sheeley, an 8th grader at Lakeview Junior High. “When you walk in you think it’s nice, not something like day care.”

Fourth grader Isaiah Thompson admitted to seeing changes in progress before the official Winter Break return to the program run by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus. “I have. But not like this. Wow!”

Morgen Wade, Homeport’s Manager of Volunteer Engagement, said the upgrade was overdue. While the community center was expanded in 2013 – allowing for after school and summer school programs – it was clear that a paint job was in need. In 2015 Wade sought and received a $500 mini-grant for paint from United Way of Central Ohio. The initiative would grow to involve four companies that donated time, talent and product.

Jenine Monks, an interior designer, and wife of Alex Romstedt, Homeport’s Assistant Director of Learning and Engagement, created a design for the walls after looking in on the community center.

“It’s wonderful the kids have a place they can go to after school and in the summer. But the space itself was a blank canvas and needed to tell a better story about all the great things that happen there,” Monks said. 

Monks also asked Patcraft, a commercial carpeting and flooring supplier, to donate 770 square feet of tiles. Pheasant Run property manager Wallick Communities got America’s Floor Source to install them. Finally, Fitch, the international design firm that employs Monks, donated bookshelves for free. 

It all began though with the wall painting labor provided for free by eight Target employees who applied the different shades of green. 

The idea of volunteering, to improve a child’s life with some physical effort is rewarding, said Target employee Shannon Smith. “Kids need a place to be creative, to be in a bright atmosphere and be happy.”