SAIL Center receives funds

Published 9:45 am Monday, December 27, 2010

Rep. Alan Baker (R-Brewton) presents Atmore SAIL Center Director Charlotte Purvis with a check for more than $7K Tuesday morning as Atmore Mayor Howard Shell and SAIL Center employees Eula Sullivan and Grady Slay look on.|Photo by Adam Prestridge

During a time when every penny counts, the Atmore SAIL Center received an early Christmas gift this week, which will allow much-needed renovations and repairs to the Ridgeley Street facility.

Tuesday morning, Rep. Alan Baker (R-Brewton) presented SAIL Center Director Charlotte Purvis with a check in the amount of $7,365.50 earmarked for the renovations.

“It’s very rewarding any time funds can be obtained from Montgomery and given back to communities, especially with a focus on seniors and children,” Baker, a former coach and educator in Escambia County, said.

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Baker said the donation was made available through community service discretionary money from the state’s general fund.

In addition to Baker’s donation, Atmore Mayor Howard Shell was on hand to announce that the SAIL Center had also received $25,000 from the McMillan Trust.

“These funds will be used to put a carport on the front of the building, upgrade the bathrooms and the building’s electrical and for new paint,” Shell said. “We are going to do as much upgrading as possible using the generous donations of the McMillan Trust and Alan Baker.”

In addition, Shell said Masland Carpets had also donated new carpet for the entire facility.

“This is outstanding,” Purvis said. “There are no words to really describe how I’m feeling; I could cry. I know how the economy is and this is just an answered prayer. It’s the greatest Christmas gift.”

Shell said securing the donations has been a lengthy process.

“We have been working very diligently for about a year to obtain this funding,” Shell said.

The Atmore SAIL Center has served as many as 85 seniors in a single day, but attendance varies from day-to-day. The center offers numerous activities for area seniors.

“It offers an opportunity for seniors to get out and enjoy fellowship, games and a hot meal,” Shell said.

Purvis said renovations would begin as early as next Monday, Dec. 27.

“Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart,” she said.