Community Club’s busy year
By Jay Gamel, Kenwood Community Club Board President
It’s been a big year for improvements at the Kenwood Depot, making it safer, healthier, cleaner and more useful to the communities it serves. Every week has a lively mix of people coming for classes (yoga, tai chi, meditation, ballet), meetings (Glen Ellen-Kenwood Rotary, men’s club, wine clubs), celebrations, county-sponsored meetings for fire victims, and to get on with the social side of life in Kenwood and our surrounding communities.
If you have driven by in the last week or so, you may have noticed the new depot sign, recently ordered to replace the sadly deteriorating previous marker. The sign cost nearly $1,500 for an all weather, long-lasting metal fabrication with weatherproof paint – the Kenwood Community Club (KCC) would welcome any donations toward recouping that cost.
The KCC owns and operates the Kenwood Depot, and its primary mission is to respect that ownership, care for the property, and keep it in trust for the entire community to enjoy in perpetuity.
For many years, Sonoma County has favored the depot with grants, mostly from the County Landmarks Commission through its status as county Historical Landmark #46, bestowed in 1979. In 1995, the Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD), donated $10,000 for general upgrades which included fencing, painting, asphalt upgrade, roof repair, and a new well pump system. Prices were different back then.
In the past three years, the club has been awarded two grants, both exceeding $12,000, which have supported a number of welcome improvements, including:
Replacing gutters and rainspouts
Refinishing the main oak floor
Remodeling the front “ticket booth”
Providing a gas log insert for the fireplace.
Over the last two years, the second grant ($12,800) has been used to:
Replace kitchen cabinets
Replace kitchen countertops
Repair/replace kitchen sink and fixtures
Provide new sheet rock and insulation along with primer paint
New linoleum for the kitchen and bathroom areas
Tree pruning and removal of dead trees
Seal parking lot asphalt
While the total cost of these improvements was a bit over $18,000, $5,300 was donated, most of it in labor, by Tim and Randy Blythe, who made the magic happen. Randy served as a longtime board member and most recently as depot manager, but is taking a well-earned retirement with husband Tim now that the main work is done. The entire board and club joins in a big thank you to both Randy and Tim, along with many other volunteers who have helped over the last three years.
Save the date: The KCC will host its annual Christmas Party on Dec. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. The community is invited to share holiday cheer and camaraderie.
Thanks are due to board members Nigel Hall and Nazar Eljumaily for major donations of time and investments. They have provided much of the funding for the new ceiling fans and the new sound system which is available for Depot users.
The culinary side of the venture also has four new round tables that make for a more intimate dinner or meeting venue.
While the list is not complete, with many smaller projects not mentioned, board members and citizens have been donating time, energy and money.
The depot does host occasional private events and social gatherings that are in keeping with its spirit as a good neighbor and an integral part of our community.
There remains a strong aversion to hosting large groups and/or amplified music. Large parties where people are expected or even encouraged to enjoy a loud and festive time are better suited to other venues.
The KCC will gladly accept donations and welcomes memberships from the entire community to keep this jewel a center for community activity and in pristine condition. Visit our website at kenwooddepot.org. Call 408-1127 for information about using it, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for any help and support you can provide.