If you’re planning to make a year-end gift to a local charity, it’s easier than ever to give the the Price Center in downtown San Marcos. The Center just recently added an on-line giving option to its website. Since the early 2000s, the Center has been serving as a low-cost, no-cost community events and activity center. And now, more than ever, the Center needs financial support to continue doing so
“Selfless gifts of time and money have been at the heart of the Price Center’s operation since its inception,” said Clay DeStefano, executive director. “From the intial donation of the building more than 15 years ago to nearly $1 million in donated services, goods, furnishings and time since, today’s Price Center only exisits because of the kindness and volunteer efforts of others.”
The Greater San Marcos Area Seniors Association (GSMASA) prides itself on meeting a variety of needs of an ever expanding audience of community members young and old, near and far through their unique Center. From daily lunch service to regular, weekly classes and activities in its historic 1910 Room, 1893 Chapel, Multi-Purpose Room, and Garden, the Center provides a variety of venues and ways to enrich ones life in downtown San Marcos.
Over the past 24 months the Center has seen a 2000% increase in visitors and become a mainstay of the growing cultural and performing arts scene in San Marcos. Local cultural and performing artists now regularly gather, create and/or showcase their works and talents and, in many cases are starting to receive income from it.
Local access to free concerts and free or low-cost film showings have also grown tremendously this year. Cultural activities that were in existence at the Center two years ago have tripled their offerings over the past two years. The Center also recently served as the premier site for the inaugural Lost River Film Festival. Over the past two weekends a number of free holiday events open to all including two pop up art shows and two concerts were held there.
New wellness, dance, music and arts offerings have been born and, more recently tripled and quadrupled their frequency. A recently completed partnership with the San Marcos Independent Consolidated School District (SMCISD) ensures students K-12 now have a permanent, rotating community art gallery for visual arts display in the Center’s historic 1893 Room.
Perhaps most importantly, the predominant growth in engagement has been in the underserved populations. (40% of San Marcos residents live below the poverty line; 70% of students enrolled in SMCISD do as well.)
The entire community has benefited equally through expanding and ongoing access to free and/or low-cost culturally diverse and personally enriching activities at the Price Center.
“All of our growth is invigorating and a bit overwhelming,” adds DeStefano. “The increased traffic has added to our already high costs of operating, maintaining and repairing the Center, which includes two former sanctuaries -- both over 100 years old.”
As a non-profit, the Center funds its operation through annual dues from members of the GSMASA, private donations, grants, and revenues generated from the rental of various venues by private individuals, businesses and organizations.
Today, thanks to a growing number of local partners, including private donors, the City of San Marcos, the San Marcos Arts Commission, and Hays County who are each helping to fund the Center’s efforts, the operation is considerably closer to eliminating its annual budget shortfall.
If you’re considering a year-end donation to a local non-profit or charity, the Price Center wants to remind you that no gift is too small or too large and any gift gives back to the San Marcos community directly. Potential donors are encouraged to check with their tax specialist regarding deducting a donation. Visit price-center.org, click on “How You Can Help,” then use the “Donate” button to make your contribution. You may also mail a check made out to Price Center to 222 W. San Antonio St., San Marcos, TX 78666.