Julie Delano attended Central School, which became the cultural center in the 1990s

Julie Delano has returned to her home town with 27 years of experience in development under her belt and a position at the Chehalem Cultural Center, which she attended when it was still Central Elementary School.GARY ALLEN - Julie Delano was named in May to the new position of development director at the Chehalem Cultural Center.

"The auditorium in this school has a great deal of meaning to me," she said. "The stage was the first place I performed any kind of theater and I was really into theater. When I went back into the auditorium, it brought it all back. When I walk in the halls I can feel the energy of what took place so many years ago."

Delano said she has been considering returning to Newberg for a few years and when she stumbled on the fact that the cultural center was looking for a director of development, she stopped for a moment to read the advertisement twice.

"I just couldn't believe it." She said. "My very first nonprofit job was with an arts council. It is really important to me to be around like-minded people that want to do better for a community and I want to be a part of that. I decided to apply and see what would happen. I am excited to be a part of this and continue to move forward with what they have been doing here."

She brings with her experience from Ronald McDonald House Charities, Easter Seals, Big Brothers Big Sisters and other nonprofits. She holds a bachelor's degree in communication at Western Oregon University.

Director of development is a new position at the cultural center and she will work closely with the board of directors and Executive Director Sean Andries to strengthen financial support for the cultural center.

"I am in charge of managing and strategic development, which is fund raising," Delano said. "It is the broad-based view in all areas of fundraising, events and grant writing. It is focused on raising money for the operating budget, but also to enhance this fabulous building ..."

The cultural center is slated for some changes and Delano will be charged with bringing those changes about. The CCC was recent awarded a $250,000 from the city to install a culinary enrichment center to provide a staging area for caterers, a multi-purpose room and a bridal room. This involves renovating a portion of the first floor and removing old school cooking vats, a conveyor dish washer and modernizing the area for functions and events. The cultural center also plans to renovate the building's 250-seat theater and add a conference center with three additional multi-purpose meeting spaces or classrooms and a dance or movement studio.

Julie is absolutely the right person at the right time to help take the cultural center into the future," Andries said. "We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon and we are overjoyed to find someone of Julie's caliber who can help lead our fundraising efforts while also providing an invaluable personal link to our building's past."

Central School was built in 1935 during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration. The building is owned by the Chehalem Park and Recreation District.

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