Un-Open House and Fundraiser held for The Link Community Place

Sharon Schuler Kreps

Photo: Best friends Sherry Tainter and Tammy Moore praise The Link for helping them transform their lives for the better.


Before the formal event this evening we learned that $15,500 has already been secured in donations, which is the equivalent of eight rooms that are fully sponsored.”
Dawn Owens

CULLMAN –The Link of Cullman County held an Un-Open House and Fundraiser at their new facility on Ninth Street Southeast on Thursday. From un-open house to open house, the vision of a new community place is set. During Thursday’s event, guests were told about the plans for the Link’s expansion. Guests toured The Link Community Place and met neighbors who have been impacted by The Link. It was an opportunity for members of the community to partner with The Link and give the renovations to the new community place a boost.

“Today we are doing an un-open house fundraiser so that the community can start partnering with us and hopefully start renovating parts of our building to get this opened for business,” said Dawn Owens, founder and director of The Link. “That’s the idea, so we just invited a bunch of folks to come so they can see and hear what we want to do.

“We have had a great turnout; there were at least 100 people here so far. We’ve had a bunch of folks that have said, ‘send me the information later.’ Before the formal event this evening we learned that $15,500 has already been secured in donations, which is the equivalent of eight rooms that are fully sponsored. There are a total of 32 rooms that need to be renovated, so we still have a ways to go,” she smiled.

“The total goal is $100,000, but the way renovations work for us is it doesn’t always have to be the dollar amount. For example, the house over there would have cost us $15,000 to do, but we did it on a $7,000 budget. That was a lot of labor and in-kind goods that were donated to us, which can still get us to that $100,000, so that can come to us in many different ways. Yeah, $15,000 – and the majority of it was given to us by our community members. Cullman is really amazing.”

One of the best parts of the tour was stopping in the Gathering Place where the Pure Joy candy makers create their magic. Sherry Tainter and Tammy Moore work in the Pure Joy kitchen and truly love what they do. They are just a couple of the many people whose lives have been completely transformed by The Link of Cullman County.

“I love the name, The Gathering Place,” said Moore. “It feels like a home to me; it’s my second home. Everybody here is just like family.

“I know there are people throughout the city that are homeless,” she added. “That’s why I can’t wait until we are finished with the renovations, so people can come in here and get help because I know they are out there. I know they need help. That is Dawn’s dream, to help,” she smiled warmly.

“Oh what an incredible day; thanks so much to everyone who came out,” said Owens. “Special thanks to all our board, staff and our neighbors who made this event a success. You guys rock!”

The fundraiser was a huge success and by the time the event was over, several more rooms were sponsored. Missed out and wanted to be there? No worries! The Link will be leaving all of the information on how to donate to a specific room or to just give in general at their facility, which is located at 708 Ninth St. SE. Stop by or give them a call at 256-775-0028. They will be more than happy to take you on a personalized tour.