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Clear Lake Community Center – 25 Years and Going Strong

By Muriel Nelson


The Clear Lake Area Community Center (CLACC) is celebrating 25 years of operation as a nonprofit community center. No doubt there will be plenty happening in 2024 at the 102 year old building that once housed the community high school. CLACC’s New Year’s Resolution is to keep you up to date on the activities and who is doing it! 


However, as we step into the New Year, we want to reflect on some of the accomplishments of 2023.  Each activity and event represent strong volunteer and community support.


When you drive past or visit the community center now, you might notice the recently painted blue-gray doors and new overhead signs. However, you’d need to stop in to see the fresh paint in the hallway lobby and the dining room. You might notice the classy, updated furniture in that same hallway, the dining room lounge area and on the stairwell landings between the second and third floors.  While checking out the newly appointed dining room, you won’t be able to miss the shiny, newly scrubbed and waxed floors! Yes! All this work was done by community center volunteers during 2023.  In fact, the stairwell landings were decorated by local interior designer groups, Stone Creek and Premiere Interiors.  The center is most grateful for their donations of time, paint, and furnishings.


The center also installed a security camera system and limited guest Wi-Fi in select locations. A new LCD monitor was added in the hallway lobby so that visitors can be apprised of community center schedules, tenant sales offerings, special events and other pertinent information.


CLACC has increased ways to keep the community updated on center activities.  A monthly email, currently called “Tenant Talk” is sent to subscribers and posted on Facebook and the CLACC website, clacc.org. In addition, articles featuring center tenants were published monthly in the Clear Lake Chronicle and also posted on the CLACC website. All of these communications will continue into 2024. To receive Tenant Talk in your email, visit clacc.org and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the registration form. 


The Indoor Winter Makers Market returned in late 2023. Four market days were held in November and December; three more are scheduled in early 2024.  Each market has more than 20 vendors participating, and they sell only homemade and/or homegrown goods.  Vendors interested in participating in the January or February markets should contact Jess Fredericks at 715-419-0126. There is talk to have this program again in the fall of 2024.


A new and popular program for CLACC was initiated last fall.  This is the senior luncheons, aimed to give local seniors an opportunity for a social event along with a tasty and nourishing lunch. Luncheons held in October and December were well attended.  Another luncheon is being planned for February 29, 2024 (more information coming shortly). CLACC is grateful to our local churches for their support for this program.


As indicated above, the building used by CLACC was built over 100 years ago. It’s costly to maintain the more than 50-room structure. Occasionally, the center has events to raise money for operating costs. Among the events is the annual brat sales weekend at Nilssen’s stand. A new fund raising event for 2024 will be Cupid’s Carnival on Sunday, Feb. 18, from 1-5 pm, in the Event Center.   There will be something for ALL AGES, including Bingo, raffles, silent auctions, live music with Pitt Crew band, carnival games, a bouncy house, Brickfire Pizza, drinks, and lots more! Keep an eye on the CLACC Facebook page (fb.com/ClearLakeAreaCommunityCenterfor more information on this fun celebration or contact Candace Kuhl.  Better yet, call the center’s office to pitch in and help with this fundraiser! 


Perhaps at the top of the list for generating operating income is the Old School Thrift Shop. The thrift shop, staffed by energetic and creative volunteers, maintains a ready inventory for sale during their hours on Friday from 9 to 4:00. Goods donated by the community are sorted and attractively displayed for a quick sale. If more people volunteered to be greeters and cashiers, the store could be open additional days in 2024.


The Grant Committee was reconvened in 2023 to address financial support for some long-needed projects. Several grant requests were submitted to potential grantors near the end of last year. Projects requiring funding include a fire suppression system for the commercial kitchen, replacing sections of the HVAC system, asbestos abatement in the old boiler room and other isolated areas, replacing the roof on the oldest part of the building, installing new floor tiles in selected areas, upgrading the Event Center stage along with lighting and audio systems, building a donation center for the Old School Thrift Shop, and improving sections of the parking lot. CLACC may pursue more fundraising events as urgency increases for some of these maintenance/improvement projects. Financial contributions are always accepted and welcomed by this nonprofit 501(3)c organization. 


If you are thinking of volunteering, consider CLACC. The thrift shop is just one example of how you can volunteer.  More information on volunteering is available on the website clacc.org.  Additionally, if you’re thinking of a tax-deductible monetary donation to a local non-profit organization, consider CLACC. Contact the CLACC office at 715-263-2233 or clearlakeareacommunitycenter@gmail.com with any questions.


CLACC continues to grow in significance to the community. One indicator confirming this is that all 31 tenant suites are filled!  The tenants are diverse, from the Lifeline Food Pantry to Premier Complex Gymnastics to veterans’ organizations to Scouts to start-up businesses and more. CLACC is grateful for the many tenants who each add strength to the organization and to our community.





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