Letter to the Editor
Over the past couple months there has been much talk about a community center. We feel it’s important to get in touch with the community about progress toward this goal and recent developments at this time. Rugby First is a local non-profit that was created to search for ways to bring amenities and attractions to Rugby. In the short term we want to support other organizations and groups in pursuit of the same goal. In the long term, our goal is to build and maintain a community center in Rugby for use by the entire community and region. It’s this long-term plan to build a community center that finds us named as one of many defendants in a recently filed lawsuit.
We were lucky enough to find partners in town that shared vision and thought the plan worth pursuing. Throughout 2019 discussions continued and eventually Gary and Helen Laughridge decided to donate a piece of land that they owned to Rugby First. They understood the challenge of trying to fundraise and grant write for a community center when we had nowhere to put it, and no money to buy land or a building. Laughridge’s had previously donated land for the walking path in town. Gary & Helen hoped that their donation would be the first big step toward putting a plan in place to reach our long-term goal. Their donation to Rugby First was completed in December.
Rugby First is in the very beginning stages of organizing itself, we just took possession of the land this month. Over the next years we will be reaching out to the community about the possibilities of the area, the needs and wants of existing organizations, and fundraising to support our efforts. Rugby First hopes to fund this project with private funding and has not requested, nor plans at this time, to request tax dollars from any entity. Rugby First is not affiliated with any city, county or other government entity.
Currently Rugby First’s plans are on hold as we sort out the challenges of this lawsuit. We remain committed to our community, our long-term goal of a community center for all to use and honoring the generous donation of the Laughridge’s and their dream of another place for families and children to play and grow year-round. We are hopeful we can find a solution to bring this project to life. We remain dedicated to meeting our challenges head on and working with anyone who expresses concerns.