For more than 70 years, the Westchester Townhouse has been a community hub for local schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, community meetings, performance groups and other youth organizations, but now the aging building is in need of some TLC.
While the Westchester Townhouse has served hundreds of local residents and their families over the years, repairs and upkeep of the charming space, which features a stage and hand painted murals, have been deferred due to budget issues.
“Our Westchester community is very fortunate to have a no cost nonprofit community building that has served these youth-based organizations in this town for over 72 years. That’s not bad considering Westchester just celebrated its 75th year,” said Westchester Townhouse President Jaymes Bellous, who has been involved with the organization since 1997.
The nonprofit organization, run by volunteers who serve on the board, is now asking the community for help to raise the funds needed for repairs. The building’s wood doors, oversized and original from the 1940s need to be replaced, as do the floors, and the asphalt in the front of the building needs to be resealed. The goal is to raise $35,000 for these repairs, as well as general upkeep and landscaping for the space located on Emerson Avenue next to Kentwood Elementary School.
“The Westchester Townhouse is a vital community institution that we need to preserve and protect, so children’s activities can continue in our community,” said board member Anne-Marie Ross, who also leads a Girl Scout troop that meets at the townhouse. “If you are looking for a place to meet, there really aren’t that many. We want to keep it in great shape to keep it for the community for the next 75 years.”
Townhouse volunteers recently launched an online fundraising campaign, which will culminate in a Westchester Townhouse Fundraising Drive Festival, on Saturday, April 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will feature food, a magic show and family-friendly activities including a bounce house. Music West, a Westchester-based nonprofit theater company that uses the townhouse for its shows, will also perform at the event. A presentation on the townhouse’s history and a raffle are also planned.
“The Westchester Townhouse is a terrific institution and an important community asset,” said Bellous. “It’s our diamond in the rough. We hope people find it in their hearts to donate.”
For more information on donating to the fundraiser or sponsoring the Saturday, April 14 event, please visit facebook.com/WestchesterTownhouseLA.
The Westchester Townhouse is located at 8501 Emerson Ave. in Westchester.
Published March 2018.
Photo by Diana Feil Photography.