Coeur d'Alene Press September 17, 2008

Wolf Lodge citizens seek help with community center

COEUR d'ALENE — Meeting in living rooms isn't so bad, according to Gertrude Bush, Blue Wolf Community Club trustee. "Every month when we have a meeting, we say, 'who's going to bring desserts this time?'" Bush giggled over community solutions since the residents around Wolf Lodge tore down the old community center a year and a half ago. "Without a building, we've been trying to make it fun, but we're excited to have a new one soon."

The community organization has spent recent months raking in funds any way it can to finish the new Blue Wolf Community Center. Although construction of the steel exterior was completed about six weeks ago — funded by logging the trees on the site property — about $25,000 worth of interior work still remains. The club is harvesting locals’ pocket change, one yard sale, chili feed and car wash at a time, said Club Secretary and Treasurer Janet Funk. The community will chip in as long as it takes, she said.

"There are people who are retired who have no place to go to meet for coffee out here,” Funk said. "4-H kids want a place to have their meetings and see their friends. They need a place to meet, a place to share ideas, a place to do projects that would help the whole community.” The new facility will include dancing areas, an archery range and a small basketball court. The club also hopes to hold meetings there, including forums for candidates running for office. The community club raised about $2,300 at a three-day yard sale last weekend, and is currently hitting up local businesses to donate construction materials. Residents in the Wolf Lodge area have molded their culture around the community center since it was created around 1940, said Bush, one of the center’s founders.

Over the decades, the facility became the regular location of club meetings and large-scale events, from holiday parties to wedding receptions. It even served as search-and-rescue headquarters when a club member went missing.

But the public had to start relocating their meetings about five years ago when the deteriorating building was clearly on the brink of collapse.

"We were really afraid of the floor, so we couldn’t have any dances," Bush said. “Everybody loved to do the bunny hop, and it wasn’t something we could do.”
The community tore down the structure in 2006, and immediately started seeking permits for the new facility. Completion of the new building depends on when
the club gets enough money, said President Jeanie Marsan. The club has saved a few dollars thanks Marsan’s husband, who used his own equipment to log the property and help pour the foundation.

“(My husband) and I met at the Blue Creek Community Center when we were 15 years old, and we’ve had alot of dances and community programs and whatnot through the years," Marsan said. “It’s been a good experience for us and our children, and now we have grandchildren as well. We just want to give them the same opportunities that had.”

Contact the Blue Wolf Community Club at

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