Home October 2013 Gift from car dealer allows Gresham expansion for Salvation Army

Gift from car dealer allows Gresham expansion for Salvation Army

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GRESHAM — A large gift from a family that runs a car dealership here is ensuring that the Salvation Army will be able to expand its local outreach facility.
The $116,165 gift from the Weston family, who own Weston Kia and Weston Buick GMC, follows a $250,000 contribution earlier this summer from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Wash.
The Weston gift represented the final amount needed for work to start on the Salvation Army’s new social services and youth recreation area in Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood.
Fundraising had been under way for three years.
As reported by the Portland Tribune, the gift will allow expansion of the 5-year-old Salvation Army Gresham Corps & Community Center at 473 S.E. 194th Ave., to include a 6,500 square-foot social services center and an outdoor gymnasium.
Long-range plans call for the outdoor gym to be converted to an indoor facility.
Jim Weston, who founded the auto dealerships in 1975, is a former member of the Salvation Army’s local advisory council and a longtime supporter of the ministry.
For 20 years, he and his family have loaned cars to the Salvation Army for its various Christmastime outreaches. Weston has retired and his sons Jan and Jay now run the business, which also is a major sponsor of the corps’ after-school program for low-income children.
Construction on the expanded center is to start next month and be completed by June.
The expansion will include a commercial kitchen and dining room for weekly senior meals and more storage space and a walk-in freezer and refrigerator to better serve food bank clients.
The improvements will give the Salvation Army Gresham Corps the capacity to serve up to 250 families or 1,000 people each week.