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West Linn ACC gift shop, which was ran by the Friends group, to permanently close

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Friends of the West Linn Adult Community Center, the group largely responsible for the center, had decided to disband.After 25 years, $300,000 raised and countless volunteer hours, the Friends of the West Linn Adult Community Center group decided to disband this month.

The group, which is largely responsible for the existence of the ACC today, formed around 1993 as a handful of citizens who wanted the city to acquire a community space.

Working with the West Linn Parks and Recreation Department, they secured a room at Bolton Primary School, and the city was able to hire a quarter-time worker to work with the volunteers in the newly formed Friends group. From Bolton, the ACC moved to a church, and later, thanks to fundraising from the Friends, the city was able to purchase a house on Rosemont, West Linn Parks and Recreation Director Ken Warner recounted.

"Through those years, the Friends group has been an integral part of the city. They've raised well over a quarter million dollars," Warner said. "They've done just about everything to move that program forward to where it is today."

According to Friends of the ACC President Marsha Wilkins, the group had been thinking of disbanding for the past couple of years. Having fundraised for the ACC building, the 2015 additions and the community center bus, the group realized there wasn't much need for its fundraising efforts. Many members of the board were looking to retire, which also factored into the decision according to Wilkins.

The group had planned to dissolve at the end of fiscal year 2021, but due to the ACC's closure during the COVID-19 pandemic it made more sense to end now, Wilkins explained.

Since shortly after the ACC opened in 2002, the Friends of the ACC ran the center's gift store, the Little Shop on Rosemont. The disbanding of the group means that the shop, which has provided the community with unique consigned goods for the last 18 years, is also closing for good.

Wilkins wanted to assure the community that though the Friends group is disbanding and gift shop is closing, the ACC will open once again, and many of the group will continue to serve as volunteers.

"We're so grateful that they were there and able to help us when we needed help," Warner said. "I don't know that we would have been able to fund the initial center without them or the addition we did in 2015."


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