In April 2020, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed by Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey.
The lockdown continued for nearly two months. When Gov. Ducey finally gave the go ahead to reopen, businesses slowly began the road to recovery. Even those listed as “essential” had a challenge with this economic recovery.
Many small businesses and non-profits in Arizona didn’t survive the lockdown. The businesses that did survive are hanging on as best they can. Copper Area News wanted to give something back to the local business community as a thank you for supporting us through these troubled times. Our newspapers (Copper Basin News, Superior Sun and San Manuel Miner) have been featuring local businesses and non-profits since the beginning of 2021, encouraging our readers to Shop at Home, stay local and support our local businesses. To date, Copper Area News has featured 84 businesses in the Copper Corridor.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic took its toll, businesses, families and even local non-profits had to adjust their strategies to keep their missions moving forward while working through the pandemic. Meetings were moved to Zoom and fundraisers had to become creative as in-person events were not allowed. Harder still for some organizations, major events — including annual events — had to be canceled.
The Oracle Community Center has been a foundation of the community for more than 40 years and continues support the community even through this pandemic. The last year has been tough on the community center as they had to cancel the last two Oracle Oaks Festivals.
However, the Oracle Community Center Board President Steve Chaves has confirmed that next year the Oracle Oaks Festival is back on as normal. Another sign that things are returning to normal: they are currently looking for volunteers.
“We are always looking for volunteers,” said Chaves.
Volunteers are needed for planning next year’s Oaks Festival as well as board members to help guide the direction of the community center.
Yet another sign of getting back to business: the Monday lunches are back on as of last month. But rather than every Monday, they are now twice a month, on the first and third Monday. The next lunch date is Aug. 2.
Chaves told the Miner that the community center was built, physically, by the community. The community put in the labor and materials to build it. For many years, the community center was, on paper, a senior center. But the center is back to being a non profit community center.
This year’s major project is renovating the kitchen. Recently, the OCC received a donation from the SaddleBrooke Rotary Club to help purchase a much needed new stove.
“The community center is open to the community, and it is a great rental space for parties and special meetings,” said Chaves.
Coming Aug. 14 will be another community yard sale. More information will be published in the Miner as it becomes available.
The community center’s Free Little Pantry is still available for folks who need a little help (and for those with a little help to give, the lockers are open for donations).
You can contact the community center for hall rentals and volunteering at (520) 896-9326. You can also check for meeting and events at www.Oraclecommunitycenter.org, and the community bulletin boards are open all use.