In our past blogs I have touched on the topic of our ropes course renovation but have yet to explain what all that entails and how this amazing opportunity was awarded to us. Anyone who has been out to our ropes course knows that it is a wonderful and fun experience that is safe and functional but it, like all things, could use a bit of improvement. With the help of the Charity League of Corpus Christi we will be doing just that!
The Charity League of Corpus Christi (also known as Charity League), is a non-profit organization comprised of 40 women who annually raise funds for charitable projects in the Corpus Christi, Texas area. Charity League was organized in 1934 by a group of women dedicated to improving the quality of life for citizens in our community. Each year, through a detailed selection process, a different charity is chosen, and members spend many months raising funds and awareness for the selected charity. (Think of it as a job application process, you apply to a job and then you get on the short list for an interview and then possibly a second or third interview until you are the one they choose to hire for the position). Instead of an interview though, Youth Odyssey presented our proposed project and explained how, by having partnering with the Charity League, we will be able to make a greater impact here in our community.
Because we were asking for help with our ropes course renovations we hosted a presentation at the course. We had large presentation boards displaying the blueprints for the building we are going to build (designed by Alan Wahlers Architect). We had an external look at the building and an internal look at the building. We had also printed out small booklets for them to look at that outlined what we, specifically, we were asking for and how they would be able to help us accomplish this.
The first thing we went over was the need to renovate the ropes course: due to time and growth, we, Youth Odyssey, discovered that we needed a larger, more functional recreation center that provided indoor space to get out of the elements. Currently, during adverse weather we either have to cancel our ropes courses, which are an integral stepping stones in our program, or we have to be confined in a small space to run activities. Also due to growth, we have discovered that, in order to keep youth and private groups engaged and coming back to our ropes course, we need to offer more variety to our low and high elements. To combat these issues we plan to build a new recreation building and incorporate more elements to the course.
The new building will be 4o feet wide by 60 feet long which, during bad weather, will allow us to run activities inside. We will also have a bouldering wall along one of the sides in case the outdoor high elements aren’t an option (thunder and lightening). To keep participants safe during bad weather and hot Texas heat, this building will provide a safe, covered place indoors that will have air conditioning to cool participants off. The size of the building will also allow us to host more than one group at a time if needed and be able to host larger groups as well. Adding new elements to the ropes course will make it easier to accommodate larger groups too. In order to do this, our renovation plan calls for moving the fence line further out so we can create more space within the fence to build and improve our elements. Some of the proposed elements are the Giants Ladder, Horizontal Spider Web and a new Vertical Spider Web, rebuilding our Whale Watch, adding a Vertical Playground, the Big Finger, and a new Porthole.
After explaining and answering questions about the proposed building plan to about 20 women from the Charity League we were feeling pretty confident that we had driven home the need for the ropes course improvement and how important the ropes course portion of Youth Odyssey’s programming is to our success. We also felt that we explained how their support is just what we needed to make it a reality. A few weeks after our initial presentation it was confirmed that we had, indeed, been selected as the Charity League’s chosen organization for the 2017 year. Since only about half of the League show up for the initial presentation we hosted the entire Charity League for a second and final presentation at the ropes course so they would all be on board in how we would be working together to accomplish this momentous task.
The Charity League will be hosting their annual Style Show and Luncheon at the American Bank Center on February 16, 2017 with a reception starting at 11:00 am and the luncheon and fashion show starting at 11:45 am. You or a business you know can purchase tickets and tables at their website. They will not be selling tickets at the door so you want to be sure and purchase before the day of the event. These ladies have been working hard to promote Youth Odyssey to their connections. In past years they have raised over $200,000 in just that one day. I don’t know how they do it but I am beyond grateful they are pushing all of their efforts in the name of Youth Odyssey and our continued success.
All the proceeds from the days events go directly back into Youth Odyssey and will be used to update and improve our ropes course. The anticipated completion date for the course renovations is the end of this 2017 year and we will be hosting a big reveal when it is completed to showcase the new elements and our new building. So stay tuned and we will keep you apprised on the success of the luncheon, the ground breaking on the new building, and continued updates until it’s completion. We are very excited and hope you all are too!