The Village of Roanoke sits about 30 minutes outside of Peoria and is home to a little over 2,000 people. Roanoke appears to be the stereotypical farm town as you drive through and pass underneath the sole traffic light on Route 116, but looks can be deceiving.
Located among these 2,000 residents is pride and ambition to leave a legacy in the hearts of all those that should ever have the luck of visiting Roanoke. Combine that with some good fortune in the form of a previous resident, whose hard work has paid off throughout the years and has an equally driving desire to leave a legacy, and you have the start of what we know as the Roanoke Civic Center Project.
For several years, the Roanoke Civic Center, Inc., an established 501c3, has known that they have a willing donor: former resident, Kaywin Martin, pledged to donate $1 million as a match to an equal amount of money raised from the community. With this money, they would build the Roanoke Civic Center; a place that will serve the needs of the community’s family and friends to celebrate weddings, anniversaries, school events and more. This building would essentially become the heartbeat of the town. The group, however, was unsure how to start.
Enter Brittany Brown: Rural Economic Development Coordinator at the Greater Peoria EDC. Through several meetings, she was able to get a good understanding on the project and had the background to understand the amount of work ahead for Roanoke Civic Center, Inc.. Working together towards a common goal, the GPEDC and the Roanoke non-profit mapped out a plan of how to spread the word about the project, how to ask for support and what happens after support starts rolling in.
Last month, the Roanoke non-profit group hit a milestone: they hosted their first introductory breakfast at the United Methodist Church in Roanoke. They introduced the building plans and a high-level view of what expenses would look like. The goal? To generate awareness in the community of the project and plant the seed for donation requests to make this dream become a reality for this proud village. With a little help from the GPEDC, the Roanoke Civic Center, Inc. is already off to a great start.
The Greater Peoria EDC is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization that drives economic growth in a five county region through targeted business and talent development.