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Freddie the dog supervises the asphalt laying process at the Old Town Portola Event Center on May 9, with the mural in the background, only one panel away from being finished. Photo by Carole Benson

Portola event center heading to finish line

A major effort to renovate the vacant property on Commercial Street and create the Old Town Portola Event Center (OTPEC), adjacent to Dickson Realty, is underway once again as the seasons change and the weather allows for progress.

A multi-paneled, historically-themed train mural by Rafael Blanco is nearly complete, and project coordinator Chris David is now looking to the community to come together for the final push in bringing the center to life.

To date, local citizens and businesses have contributed 75 percent of the cost to fund construction at the local event center through donations in cash, labor and materials.

“We’re reaching out to the general public at this time to assist in raising the additional 25 percent needed to complete the project and open for business this fall,” David said.

OTPEC, a registered 501 C3 nonprofit corporation, plans on opening Aug. 1 and needs to raise $60,000 to complete the rejuvenation project, with items such as an asphalt pathway, entry signage, kiosk, artificial turf, perimeter fencing, and a stage on the list.

This all goes toward the park-like setting that project coordinators have envisioned, where future events can unfurl beneath red maple trees in the heart of old town Portola.

One way that the community can assist is in the form of monetary donations, and project coordinators want to ensure that those donors are recognized for their generosity.

Those who wish to contribute between $100 and $999 will be recognized with a personally engraved brick that will be installed at the OTPEC as an integral part of the entry walkway.

Those contributing $1,000 or more will be recognized as a scroll in the information kiosk at the park entrance, as well as an installed brick. Scott and Susan Arterburn, owners of Chilcoot Monument, are providing the bricks and engraving free of charge.

All donations are fully tax deductible, according to event coordinator David, who also noted, “At this time, your financial assistance is vital if this project is going to succeed.”

Checks may be made out to Old Town Portola Event Center, P.O. Box 1143, Portola, California, 96122.

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