A few weeks ago we attended a fundraising dinner for the Goodman Community Center in Madison. I have to mention the promotional pieces they put out for the event because they did such a super job.
Each of the pieces was spot on—uniformity of branding, educational information, and a “fancy-filled” style. Madison, by nature, is a casual town, but when the invitation uses key words like “fancy” (four times), “investment,” “secure future” and “sponsorship,” you know not only should you dress up, but you also need to bring your checkbook. That is, after all, the objective of a fundraising dinner.
Graphic design and copywriting aside, I was excited to get inside this building!
According to its website, the Center’s architecture “demonstrates a classic factory form characterized by an abundance of ground floor windows and two rows of high central clerestory windows, maximizing natural light and ventilation.” Built in the turn of the last century, the 30,000-square-foot building has a diverse industrial history.
In 2005, with the help of local philanthropists, the Center bought the building and began a complete renovation. Today, it houses classrooms, art rooms, game rooms, a fitness center, a café run by teens training in the culinary arts, a food pantry and offices. A covered walkway connects the building to a newly built 12,000-square-foot gymnasium.
Isn’t the steel gantry shown above cool? Once part of an iron works operation, it now it forms a giant gazebo over the gardens and playground.
THIS is why I wanted to see inside this building! Isn’t it beautiful?!
Eppstein Uhen Architects and Vogel Brothers Building Company, both of Madison, did the renovation. They mindfully considered environmentally friendly techniques and the building’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
But here’s why the Goodman Center really shines:
Each day it provides food, educates young people, cares for older adults and supports the families of four Madison communities. As the Goodman Center says, it strengthens people’s lives.
- Seed to Table: Gives at-risk students the chance to learn through an urban agriculture curriculum with hands-on propagating, planting, harvesting, preserving and cooking.
- Dane County Nutrition Site: Fed 8,000 affordable meals to older adults in 2012.
- Food Preservation Program: Teens preserve abundant local produce for the center’s food pantry customers.
- Thanksgiving Basket Distribution: Distributed holiday meals to 2,600 families in 2012.
- Parent Programs: Strengthen the link between parents, children, school and the Center.
- Madison Empowering Responsibility in Teens (MERIT): Helps Madison teens make good decisions about their sexual health.
- Vocationally Integrated Pathways (VIP): An alternative high school program where students earn credits through academics and work.
- 5-Star Childcare (Young Star rating): Programs provide quality care to Madison’s youth.
Want to support this caring organization? Check out their site here.