A fire broke out at the Conway Community Center on Sunday, leaving organizers scrambling to find a new location to host free youth sports camps and a distribution of food for those in need.
The East Side center is owned by the city but is managed by the Sanneh Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to young people from Twin Cities.
According to a Facebook post, founder and CEO Tony Sanneh received a phone call at 4 a.m. telling him the facility was on fire.
The foundation will not be able to use the center for two to four weeks and is working to find alternatives, he wrote.
“We think differently, but we will still hold (six) sports camps this week at other venues, distribute food (five) days (two) outside at Conway,” he wrote. “We have a few field trips and explore the outdoor classrooms. We need all of you now to help us support our young people so that we can find food, logistics, transportation, official space and the program for next month. “
He asked for donations to help recovery efforts at sanneh-fire-recovery-fund.causevox.com/.
“The community center is a city-owned building, but the capital investments and programming that the Sanneh Foundation has brought to our community are vital to the physical and social infrastructure of the East Side,” said Jane Prince, member of the municipal council of district 7, in an article. on the fundraising page. “Sanneh provides essential programs and services to our community and many others, and they are an important partner with the City of St. Paul.”
Sanneh wrote that he had “absolute confidence that we will be able to adapt and serve the youth in our summer programs while the building is temporarily closed. We are absolutely committed to continuing our mission of providing programs, opportunities and environments that empower young people and improve community well-being without disruption, and we look forward to the building’s safe reopening. “
Sanneh said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.