Vida McKenzie Community Center

Vida McKenzie Community Center




Vida McKenzie Center photo



A little history through the years: Before the year 2000 rolled around many members of the McKenzie River Club were thinking about the survival of the “Club” and what would become of the club house.

Marge Estenson and Buck Carter (both passed) were the major movers and shakers in getting the community involved.








2012 Special Edition

Page 1 2012 Special edition Page 2 Special edition 2012


Activities in 2001


The group from 2000 continued leadership. This group identified many needs: They needed income to pay bills, and they needed members and the support of the community. They needed to become a Non-Profit 501(c3) organization. They begin to identify many upgrades to the Center: Electrical, floors, restrooms, windows and window coverings, painting interior and exterior. The upgrade fund totaled $570.00.

During the 2nd year the president of the Center, Bob Neilsen Jr. stepped down due to illness. Walter Wilson was elected president in May 2002.

Activities in 2002



* Sent out first quarterly newsletter

* Requested help from the membership with major projects: Needed painters carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc.

* Todd Olson-Olson Construction and Painting responded and with the help of many members, painted the interior of the Center

* Worked continued on 501(c3) 2003

* Received 501(c3) status from IRS

* First Bingo game held on Saturday August 9th

* Millie Hass donated two U of O Civil War footballs tickets for a fundraiser

* First Christmas Bazaar, held at the Leaburg Community Center

Activities in 2004



* First Tai Chi Classes

* First AARP 55 Alive Safe Driving Class

* Exterior of Center painted by Todd and April Olson

* Electrical Upgrade

* Windows Upgrade

* Bingo continue to be a big hit with community

* 2nd Annual Christmas Bazaar at the Leaburg Community Center

* $7,000 in bank, until property tax, insurance, electrical and window upgrade and building maintenance came due.

* Raffle Baskets (fundraiser) started at Bingo games

* Millie Hass donated two U of O Civil War footballs tickets for a fundraiser

* Major donations received from Faye and Lucille Stewart Foundation and Jerry’s Home Improvement

Activities in 2005



* Property Tax Exemption received from County

* Refinished floors

* McKenzie Gutter donated gutters for building

* First donations to community projects and organizations

* First scholarship award went to Kyle Sherman

* Donations received from Ike’s Pizza, EWEB,

Roseboro Lumber, Vern and Marilynn Blumhagen for new tables and table cart.

* Purchased lighted Bingo board with donations from the Bob Neilsen Jr. memorial fund

* 3rd Annual Christmas Bazaar moved to Walterville Grange

* Dues increased to $10.00 per year

Activities in 2006



* Asked membership to sponsor new chairs

* Poured concrete deck/patio out back and increased the size of the entrance pad

* First annual “Special Night” of Bingo in August as a thank you to the community for support

* Center on KMTR TV news with “I Dare Dave to Play Bingo,” with local newsman Dave Wenda

* First Business Card Ads (Dick Barnes-Seneca Wholesale Co. and Jim Canfield-Real Estate) appeared in VMCC newsletter

* 4th Annual Christmas Bazaar

Activities in 2007



* New Chairs arrived

* Name tags for chairs donated by Awards Service of Lynnwood WA thanks to Dick and Bernadette Barnes

* Dormer style entrance roof designed and built by Ron Short and members of the Center

* Members worked Cycle Oregon and they donated $1001.55 to the Center

* Started adding lighting to outside of building

* Concrete walk completed around side of building

* Purchased new propane tank and moved it to the east side of building

* Donated freezer to Meals on Wheels-Leaburg

* 5th Annual Christmas Bazaar

Activities in 2008



* Re-graveled parking lot

* Installed energy efficient overhead lighting fixtures

* Purchased Hot Dog cooker with funds from Al Plath’s memorial fund

* Purchased highways sign for Vida-McKenzie Neighborhood Watch

* Late Bloomers Garden Club took over flower bed enhancement

* New Window Shades

* Weekly YOGA classed began

* Monthly Bingo continues to be a success

* 6th Annual Christmas Bazaar

Activities in 2009



* Rental of Center continues to increase

* Bingo night continues to be a good fundraiser

* Started a special Progressive Bingo Game, first payout was $155.00

* Increased donations to scholarship and organizations

* 7th Annual Christmas Bazaar

Activities in 2010



* Insulated and added shelving to shed building

* Center rentals continues to increase

* Membership continues to increase

* Increased donations to scholarship and organizations

* 8th Annual Christmas Bazaar huge success with community

Activities in 2011



* Installed new snack bar counter and granite top

* Installed new kitchen water faucet

* Installed pilling to support restroom portion of the building

* Increased donations to scholarship and organizations

* Center was rented 126 times during the year

* Membership continued to increase

* Added additional storage building

Activities in 2011



* Installed new snack bar counter and granite top

* Installed new kitchen water faucet

* Installed pilling to support restroom portion of the building

* Increased donations to scholarship and organizations

* Center was rented 126 times during the year

* Membership continued to increase

* Added additional storage building

Activities in 2012

2012 - So far


* Well water tested very good.

* Donation of $50.00 a month to Bingo for extra prizes by Kimm Esser, Financial Representative with Country Financial in Eugene

* Repaired major water damage flooring in men’s restroom, re-tiled and painted room

That leads us to what projects are on the table for discussion:

* Interior wall insulation saving on winter heating

* Enhance speaker sound system

* Complete outside lighting on building and new storage building

* Build a website for the Community Center

* Increase the donations for scholarships

Actvities in 2000


The beginning: The first Officers: Bob Neilsen Jr. -President, Dawn Neilsen -Vide President, Joyce Brooks-Secretary and Marge Estenson - Treasurer. Board Officers included: Nadine Scott, Vern and Marilynn Blumhagen, Laura Olson, Janie Scofield, Bill and Kimm Esser. The process of forming a corporation began. By-Laws were written and approved on Oct. 28, 2000. Membership dues were set at $5.00 per year.

Fall, 2012 Newsletter

Fall, 2012 Newsletter P1 Fall, 2012 Newsletter P2
Fall, 2012 Newsletter P3 Fall, 2012 Newsletter P4
Fall, 2012 Newsletter P5 Fall, 2012 Newsletter P6
Fall, 2012 Newsletter P7 Fall, 2012 Newsletter P8
Fall, 2012 Newsletter P9 Fall, 2012 Newsletter P10


Notes from the President

Notes from the President


Walter Wilson,VMCC President


On May 5th we held the annual membership meeting. It was a lively meeting with everyone joining in with bits of information and ideas on the operation of the Center. Most everyone seems pleased with the direction the Center has taken over the years and how the Center has progressed since it incorporated from the McKenzie River Club to the Vida McKenzie Community Center in the year 2000.

While the first years were a little shaky and almost overwhelming to the leaders, we pushed forward and I can say that I have been very happy to be part of the organization and leadership. Even with the insecure beginning, we have had a very successful 12 years. I’ve had a long and enjoyable run as your President. I appreciate your confidence in, once again, electing me as your Community Center President. I thank the membership for the support in providing me with members that have some of the same goals I have for the Center. The reelection of the current slate of Officers and Board Members insures the direction of your Center will continue to move forward.

At the membership meeting I mentioned a few of some of the major accomplishments we have been able to complete over the years. I was asked to list in our newsletter some of them. As I look back and review the list it is impressive what we have been able to do in a short period of time. I believe the enhancements we have been able to accomplish at the Center has encouraged the community to accept and want to be involved, which has allowed us to achieve some secure success. Financially set, we are not. We are able to pay our ever increasing bills. We are able to make a few improvements to the Center and we are able to donate some of our fundraising money to scholarships and organizations in need of support. The annual Christmas Bazaar and Bingo are our only fundraisers. These two events provide the majority of our funds in which we operate the Center.

Our Center continues to be a focal point in the valley. The rental (126 last year) continues to increase each year. We have several organizations that use the Center on a monthly basis: Neighborhood Watch, Sew and So’s craft group, Bunco, Late Bloomers Garden Club, AARP Driver Safety Program, McKenzie River Lions, Bob Welch holds an annual writers workshop and the Yoga group meets every Tuesday.

Many exterior changes have occurred over the years thanks to the support of the community and membership. With the help from the “Hass” family (Gardner, Tobin, Short) members, the dirt patio out back and walkways around the building were turned into concrete, the low hanging (almost hit your head) entrance was turned into a very nice dormer entrance. Todd and April Olson Painting and Construction Co. gave the outside and inside a much needed fresh coat of paint. Of course, many members of the Center had a helping hand in completing all the projects through-out the years. The list of names is long and almost covers the whole membership list.

Thank You

Thank You


I want to thank several members that helps keep our Center running on a monthly basis:

VERN BLUMHAGEN: Vern as Treasurer of the Center provides an excellent accounting of our funds.

A lot of projects have been accomplished around the Center because Vern has had his hand on them.

LINDA SCHAEFERS: Linda is the Center interface with the general public. She receives most all the telephone calls regarding the Center.

MICHAEL SCHAEFERS: Michael has take on the responsibility of setting up the Center for Bingo.

SUE ALA & SANDY WRIGHT: They have taken on the task of running the snack bar operations for the Christmas Bazaar.

PAT SHERFIELD: Pat coordinates the members who operate the bingo snack bar and the making of the monthly raffle baskets. If you would like to assist with this function, please call Pat at 541 988-9735.

ANDREA CUNNINGHAM: Andrea has taken on the handling of welcoming the bingo players and money taking each month.

ALL CENTER MEMBERSHIP: Thank you for your continued support and to the McKenzie Valley residents, thanks for your support.

Walter Wilson