Twenty nine college students will call home Thursday night after a half-century bike ride from Napa Valley. The cyclists, who are raising money to support cancer research, started their trip in Baltimore with 4K For Cancer, a non-profit organization that organizes the ride.
The Mill Valley visit, along with a gallant finish in San Francisco on Aug 4., concludes a two-wheeled journey of more than 4,000 miles that will raise more than $100,000 for cancer research. 4K For Cancer cyclists as well.
The 111-year-old building that once served Mill Valley as a saloon, a livery stable and a laundry drying shack in the early 1900s will hopefully undergo renovations over the next year, said Roberta Keller, a volunteer board member of the nonprofit Mill Valley Scout Hall Inc.
"If we raise a lot more money we’ll do a very good job, and if we don’t, then we’ll do a nice job," Keller said. "We're optimistic that we will get it done, hopefully starting within the next year."
Keller says that they're still raising money and will send out a mailing to people who have donated previously this week, in an effort to boost the fund before they decide exactly how to allocate the money.
"We've had lots of in-kind donations and promises," Keller said. "We'd like to build a new roof, install heating, get a security system, and the list goes on. We are definitely going to do something."
The building at 177 E. Blithedale Avenue definitely needs work, and you don't need to be a professional building inspector to notice. From seismic upgrades to new plumbing, Scout Hall needs some upgrades.
The building is used by a variety of local groups beyond the scouts (not related to the Boy Scouts of America), and houses the offices of the . The hall has also been the only dedicated youth center in Southern Marin since 1919.
Scout Hall board member Sue Moxon said that the last four years have largely been a grassroots fundraising effort, attracting more than 350 individual donors within the community. Currently, the fundraising campaign has fetched around $600,000, roughly half of the $1.2 million goal.
Moxon, like Keller, is optimistic about renovation starting within a year and believes that when completed, Scout Hall will be more desirable and self-sustaining.
"The hope is that we have enough donations and pledges that construction will start within a year," said Moxon. "Scout Hall will be ADA complaint and feature a brand-new kitchen, new bathrooms, and will be more attractive as a rental space, which will help keep operations sustainable in the future."
Vincent Schiano, spokesman for 4K for Cancer, emphasized that the group focuses completely on donations in order to further the mission.
"Throughout this trip, we have stayed at hosts who provide, at a minimum, a roof over our head," he said. "When researching Mill Valley, we were fortunate enough to find Scout Hall, which graciously opened their doors to us."