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Bluebonnet, LCRA award $6,000 grant for renovations at Carmine Hall

1206
 2021


Pictured, from left to right, are: Cindy Dooley, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein vice president; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA regional affairs representative; Marlene Waak, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein member; Margaret D. "Meg" Voelter, LCRA board member; Conway Waak, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein vice president; Mark Johnson, Bluebonnet community development representative; Byron Balke, Bluebonnet Board assistant secretary/treasurer; Stuart Markwardt, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein president; Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet community development representative; W.T. Marth, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein member; Glenn Treude, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein secretary; and Vicki LaRue, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein member. 

Carmine Hall, a longtime community gathering spot in Fayette County, is renovating its cramped, outdated women’s restroom thanks to a $6,000 grant from Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and the Lower Colorado River Authority.
 
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of $6,010, will pay for three new restroom stalls, including one that’s handicapped-accessible, new flooring and fixtures, and a new vanity and inset sinks.
 
“It’s been long overdue,” said Stuart Markwardt, president of Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein, the non-profit social organization that operates the hall. “We’re basically bringing it up to code.”
 
Founded in the early 1900s as a theater club, Cedar Creek Schuetzen Verein was an outdoor shooting club before Carmine Hall became a popular dance hall. The facility, which can seat about 700, is a popular spot for weddings, school and civic banquets, family reunions, and various local fundraisers.
 
“It’s the only large-scale facility in Carmine,” Markwardt said. “We’re trying to keep it open so the community has a place to fellowship. Somebody told me many years ago that if a community loses its church, its school and its place to fellowship, it’s going to die. So, we’re trying to hang onto Carmine Hall.”
 
Markwardt said his group started discussing plans to upgrade the women’s restroom at the hall some time ago because the restroom was roughly 30 years old, with its fixtures, sinks and paint in disrepair. With the remodel underway, the hall’s members are looking ahead now.
 
“We’ve been talking about what to do to get more events here,” Markwardt said. “We were looking at ways we could draw people in here, and we thought that was a good place to start – fixing the ladies' restroom. We’re very appreciative of this grant.”
 
The community grant is one of five grants being awarded by Bluebonnet and the LCRA through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
 
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

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