Over the course of the past four months, the Leadership Columbia Class of 2019 has collectively devoted more than 900 hours of work toward exterior and interior beautification of the Babcock Center’s Shop Road facility, as well as extensive marketing and branding efforts for the organization.
“Out of the 10 project proposals we received from local organizations, we selected Babcock Center because their efforts and the people they support are often overlooked when it comes to employment and community involvement,” says Mike Bell, project chair. “We’re moved by their mission and, through the diverse specialties each member of the Class of 2019 brought to the table, we had the ideas and the abilities to help connect these amazing, capable individuals to all the incredible opportunities Columbia has to offer.”
The class broke ground on the exterior construction on January 11, completing workdays almost every Friday and Saturday since. Exterior labor included the construction of a basketball half-court, landscaping, the creation of a walking path and picnic area, the repositioning and painting of the center’s storage containers and more, while some of the interior improvements include new paint, carpet, furniture and a graphic wall.
A marketing sub-committee conducted an audit of the Babcock Center’s existing assets and website, identified the center’s target audiences, refreshed the organization’s website, developed new messaging, video content and website content, implemented the #BabcockStory hashtag, created a B2B marketing toolkit and social media editorial calendar and more.
The project concluded with a launch event April 30 that invited companies, organizations and the general public to come build relationships with Babcock Center participants, tour the updated facilities, make their own mark with an interactive painting opportunity and enjoy refreshments and entertainment by Michael’s Café and Catering and the Mark Rapp Group, respectively.
This project would not have been possible without nearly $50,000 worth of donations supplied by local companies and organizations like Hood Construction, Super Sod, Owens Fisher, Blue Cross Blue Shield, McWaters and Dominion Energy, among many others.
“We’re so glad to have been chosen as the project for this year,” says Babcock Center CEO Thoyd B. Warren. “We’re thankful Leadership Columbia recognized there was a need and that our organization is doing important work. The facility on Shop Road has been there for a long time and it needed to be modernized.”