Central Christian’s perfect storm of fundraising leads to a new-look gymnasium

Central Christian’s perfect storm of fundraising leads to a new-look gymnasium

The Central Christian School gymnasium has received a major make-over, thanks in large part to the perfect storm of fundraising. The recent school auction, a grant from the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation and another from the Wayne County Community Foundation paved the way for the much-needed improvements to take place, and soon this floor and the new bleachers will make it shine.


One could say the leaders at Central Christian High School were floored by the perfect storm of fundraising opportunities that came together during their annual school auction and fundraiser this spring.

A grant from a local organization, some spirited bidding during their auction and another grant from the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation has fast-forwarded the school’s desire to refinish the gymnasium floor while also allowing them to do far more work than they could have wished to do.

“It kind of all snowballed once things got going, and it is really exciting,” said Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi, CCS superintendent. “All of these things came together and connected in ways that we never could have imagined.”

Central Christian School was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $12,000 by the Wayne County Community Foundation (John Kaylor Memorial Fund) to refinish the floor of gymnasium two at the school. That was the first priority for the school leadership team, but that turned out to be just the beginning.

“The long-awaited refinishing of our gym two floor will positively enhance our school for our students and guests,” said Terry Shue, development director.

One of the main goals of the auction back in March was to provide funds for the refinishing of the floor and the addition of new bleachers. The bleachers were the special project at Central Christian’s 2019 annual auction, where 68 individuals contributed to making the new bleacher addition a reality.

Zimmerly Jantzi said the effort by the community was amazing and a bit odd because those bidding during the auction weren’t receiving anything for their pledge bids.

“People were basically bidding on nothing,” Zimmerly Jantzi said with a laugh. “But the support from the community was incredible, as usual. [Auctioneer and CCS alumnus] Joseph Mast started the bidding at $2,500, and there were two bids at that amount. Then he just started going down from there, and more and more people came on board. The support was incredible and very exciting.”

That allowed the school to cover the one-third matching portion required for the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation grant. Then came the generosity of the Wayne County Community Foundation, which allowed them to further address their many needs in refurbishing the gymnasium. Not only could they refinish the floor and add the bleachers, but also they added glass backboards and were able to repaint the walls, both massive upgrades that will enhance the appeal of the school.

In addition the floor will be lined for basketball, volleyball, archery and badminton. The gym, which is used daily, will continue to play a vital role in the school's ability to provide a balanced education for its students.

“A newly refinished floor along with new bleachers, updated glass backboards and fresh paint energizes our space,” Zimmerly Jantzi said. “We are so thankful to the Wayne County Community Foundation and all the others who participated in this transformation. It has been inspirational to see this all come together like it did. The overwhelming giving has even allowed us to begin a weight room. It seemed to create this synergy, and everyone here is very excited about seeing this dream come to fruition.”

Without the grants in hand yet, the school could not officially begin much of the project, but they have done what they can. Zimmerly Jantzi said they kind of moved forward in faith in scheduling for the work to be done, and thus far everything seems to be working out well.

“We based a lot of the scheduling on a lot of ifs, and it has all happened, so all of this should be done by the time school begins next fall,” she said.

The old bleachers have been removed, and the plan is for the painting to take place, followed by the bleacher replacement and finally the floor.

“It’s going to be beautiful, and it is all thanks to the people who support us and the grants we received,” Zimmerly Jantzi said. “We can’t say thanks enough to those who supported us at the auction and to the Wayne County Community Foundation. We are also very grateful for the Bureau of Worker’s Comp grant. It all came together with such purpose.”

The Wayne County Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity in Wayne County that consists of a collection of more than 440 separate funds that were donated to benefit the community.

Since 1978 the WCCF has managed and invested these endowments with awards of over $75 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit arts, civic, cultural, educational, environmental, faith-based, health and human service organizations.

"CCS is thankful to be the beneficiary of this generous grant that will benefit our students and facility for many years into the future," Zimmerly Jantzi said.

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