Pierre Area Referral Service’s new location grand opening and capital campaign

The main crew, not counting the many others who volunteer help, at the Pierre Area Referral Services are, from left, Corwin Jones, executive director; Melisa Marmo, client services and program coordinator; and Linda Bentz, front desk.

The Pierre Area Referral Service (PARS) is hosting a grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 4 — 6 p.m.

PARS has moved to a new location — 108-110 W. Missouri — now basing all its many community-based functions out of one place.

“At this event, we will be kicking off our first-ever Capital Campaign. We are hoping to raise $100,000 to put towards the purchase of our new building,” said Corwin Jones, PARS executive director. “Our friends at Delta Dental, and Julia and Scott Jones have each pledged $25,000 — $50,000 total — in matching funds toward this capital campaign.”

The event will be casual, offering meat and cheese snacks and a social atmosphere.

“People are probably also going to the swimming pool capital campaign kick-off on that same day,” said Jones. “So, come to both. We have invited community officials, such as the mayor, and of course we will have our board members greeting potential sponsors and other guests at our building’s grand opening.”

“This new location brings all of our services under one roof for the first time in 45 years,” said Jones. The new location of 108-110 W. Missouri was purchased in February of this year.

The office space for the multi-function PARS used to be 2520 E. Franklin Ave. “We are no longer off-site now, since July 31,” said Jones. “We had an open house when we opened the pantry side. Now, though, we are doing the whole building.”

PARS administers the Pierre/Fort Pierre Food Pantry, Holiday Food Program, Emergency Assistance Program, BackPack Food Program, Senior Food Box Program, and Information & Referral Services. PARS is also the local Salvation Army Service Unit for Hughes and Stanley County. The facility serves people in need through referral and direct services.

The building needed interior remodeling to make one of the office spaces into a functional food pantry. This included removing a wall, removing carpet, installing hard surface flooring, improving electricity for freezers, installing a new water heater, sinks and fixtures, and new thresholds for the rear doors. The exterior work has included, or will include, additional insulation under new roofing, revamping downspouts and gutters, and installing electricity to the garage area for heating/cooling for food storage.

“By making a tax deductible donation, you’ll be directly contributing to the longevity of PARS and the community Food Pantry, along with our other vital programs. This means PARS can ‘Build on the Past Through a New Building for our Future’,” said Jones.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact Corwin Jones, executive director, at 224-8731.

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