A coffeehouse at First Presbyterian Church on Friday will raise money for the Emory Valley Center.
The coffeehouse “promises to be fun-filled and very musical,” and it will feature 11 acts and 19 performers, a press release said. The performances will include folksy guitar plucking, women’s a capella, and modern dance.
The night will help the Emory Valley Center launch its final year of fundraising for a new building on Emory Valley Road, the release said.
The coffeehouses are operated by college students, and they are designed to provide an enjoyable musical venue while also raising funds for worthy causes in Oak Ridge.
“We have handed over $13,000 to the Free Medical Clinic since we started the coffeehouse in 2012,” organizer Sumner Byrne said. “(On Friday), the target is to help our friend Dottie Thompson, one of the leaders of the capital campaign, secure the funds needed to build the new Emory Valley Center.”
The center hopes to complete its four-year capital campaign in 2014. The campaign has raised $2.5 million of a needed $3.3 million to construct a new building to replace the aging Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center, which has been its home for 57 years, the release said.
The Anderson County Commission has maintained the DARC building since 1961 and will deed it to the City of Oak Ridge on Dec. 31, 2014. Current plans call for the building to be demolished after that date. The capital campaign’s focus is now on saving the center that has served thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities since 1955 by securing the last $800,000 dollars toward the completion of the capital campaign and furnishing the new building, which EVC will own.
An architect/engineer has been hired, and if the remaining dollars are raised, the new building should be completed by the end of 2014, the release said. The new building will include a job training center, classrooms, a medical clinic, an auditorium/cafeteria/gymnasium multipurpose room, therapy rooms, and offices.
The Emory Valley Center, originally begun as a school for physically and mentally disabled children who were excluded from public schools, today provides a comprehensive array of educational, vocational, residential, social, and rehabilitative services to more than 850 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a 16-county region of Appalachia in northern East Tennessee. More information may be found on the center’s website at www.emoryvalleycenter.com.
The Friday night acts include folk duo the DangerBears, professional cellist Alex Shor, modern dancers Ellen Bast and Taylor Gober, and a sister act of Colleen, Jenna, and Ella Hulsey, among many others, the release said.
Although the performers and organizers are mostly students, all ages attend the coffeehouse, and the public is invited.
“My favorite nights are the ones when the parents come out and intersperse themselves with the students, and I see my grandmother sitting in the front row,” Byrne said. “The coffeehouse is for everyone to enjoy.”
The coffeehouse will be held in Room 102 of First Presbyterian Church located at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike from 7-10 p.m. tonight. Admission is $3 at the door, and refreshments are available for purchase.