Union Democrat staff

On behalf of a grateful community

To the Editor:

We must acknowledge the gracious and unselfish sense of community embodied by Sam and Diane Harris, owners of Valley Springs AireServ, and the continued commitment to our communities by Calaveras Community Foundation.

The Valley Springs Youth Center began in a portable classroom that was riddled with dry-rot, home to inoperable bathroom plumbing, and was later determined to be structurally unsound. In 1997, the community came together to lay the foundation that would guide us moving forward. The process began and we acquired the non-profit tax status necessary to support future anticipated youth programs.

In 2006, we accepted two used steel-framed portable classrooms from our local school district. We worked with area citizens to access resources to relocate and renovate the buildings at the edge of our Valley Springs Elementary School campus. The buildings came with many age related challenges, including the two attached heating and cooling units.

Over the years Sam and Diane Harris have adopted the Youth Center, stepping up to insure that the space is not only just livable but conducive to productive and safe working conditions. Sam and the team have continuously tweaked, repaired and encouraged a few more months of use from our aging units. A few years ago one of the units finally gave out and then became the "spare parts" department to keep the front unit hobbling along. Recently our Calaveras Community Foundation approved the funding necessary to replace those two units - an opportunity available to us because Sam and the team have again offered their help by providing the $7,500 installation as a gift to our children … a gift to the community.

Winter is upon us. Thanks to Calaveras Community Foundation, at the Youth Center things are again cozy and conducive to encouraging our leaders of tomorrow. The Directors of Calaveras Community Foundation, together with the Harrises and their team, remind us that we are not alone - there is hope - the work continues.

Marti Crane

Valley Springs