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Marjaree Mason Puts Out Fundraising Call for New Facility. There's a $1 Million Match Through Nov. 15.
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By Edward Smith
Published 5 months ago on
November 2, 2023

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Just over one year away from being able to move into its new facility, the Marjaree Mason Center is calling on individuals, businesses, and organizations to help meet its $20 million fundraising goal. And, for two weeks, beginning Nov. 1 and ending Nov. 15, agricultural giant The Wonderful Company is putting up $1 million in matching funds to help get there.

The shelter’s capital campaign Courage Takes Root would finish paying for the 5.5-acre property on Bullard Avenue near Maroa Avenue that used to be the Milan Institute, according to a news release. The new center would be a crisis center for victims of domestic violence. Clients at Marjaree Mason Center would also have access to counseling, children’s services, case management, group therapy, and more.

The nonprofit hopes to move into the building in December 2024.

The more than century-old home the nonprofit currently operates out of is in need of significant repair, said Nicole Linder, executive director of the Marjaree Mason Center. They are routinely over capacity for safe housing and services, she said. The distance between the multiple sites makes it difficult to provide people with the privacy and security they need.

“Courage Takes Root is more than a capital campaign or building project,” Linder said. “These aren’t just donations, but investments in transforming lives. This new Community Resource Center will double our service capacity footprint, create physical and emotional safety, and allow the Marjaree Mason Center to provide services addressing the root causes of domestic violence in a way never done before.”

Jessie Mason speaks at the new Community Resource Center. (Marjaree Mason Center)

MMC on Its Way to Meeting $20 Million Goal

For groups or individuals making donations over $2,500, MMC is making perks available. The group that raises the most money can have a meeting room named in their honor, the organization said.

The $20 million includes both the price to purchase the building and the cost to rehabilitate it. Fresno County supervisors approved $4.7 million of American Rescue Plan Act money to remodel the facility.

“The Marjaree Mason Center does the important and necessary work of educating our community about domestic violence and providing crucial services to those who are affected by the cycles of abuse,” said Fresno County Administrative Officer Paul Nerland.

The Isnardi Foundation donated $3 million. In honor, the site will be named the Isnardi Foundation Community Resource Center. Vincent Tocchini Isnardi ran the family pharmacy, the International Drug Company.

“Vincent’s philosophy of life was to ‘Treat everyone with dignity and respect, care for your patients as if they were your own parents, be a good listener, work hard, save for a rainy day, live modestly, and be humble.’ It has been a tremendous pleasure to partner with the Marjaree Mason Center over the past decade as they care for families coming out of abusive environments,” said Isnardi Foundation Board President Judith Griffin.

Janell Smittcamp-Boldt donated $2 million. The Lyles Foundation and Carl and Lulu Mitchell Family Foundation donated $1 million each.

Marjaree Mason Center Feature from GV Wire on Vimeo.

Locator Map: Marjaree Mason Center’s New Community Resource Center

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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