Community development group receives first big donation

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT
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OSCEOLA, Ark. (KAIT) - A community development group recently formed in Osceola received its first big donation Tuesday morning.

ReNew Osceola Community Development Corporation was first formed in September 2020.

Current president of the group, Judge Ralph Wilson, said several comprehensive plans and initiatives suggested a community development corporation should be formed.

The focus of the group is to provide resident-focused services to help advance and revitalize the community of Osceola.

The way they are trying to achieve that is by housing developments, which Judge Wilson said mainly involved retail downtown and beautification.

“We want to attract private capital downtown and we are already doing that,” Wilson said.

Kevin Sell, CVO of United Group Services, along with MetroPower, Kwest Group, and Air Products are helping build phase two at Big River Steel.

Sell said they executing the project with a collaborative strategy known as Project Summit, where everyone involved has shared risks and shared rewards.

“We did not want to come here and have this project where we’re all in it together without reflecting on the needs of the community,” Sell said.

Britt Lorino, site manager for Air Products at Big River Steel, who also sits on the ReNew Osceola board, connected Project Summit with Wilson and the organization and decided to help support the group.

During a presentation today, Project Summit presented ReNew Osceola with a $5,000 donation.

“We found out that that’s probably the best investment of our time and money, and we wanted to help the community a little bit and kick start toward what they’re trying to do here in Osceola,” Sell said.

Wilson said the donation means a lot to the group. He said the money will be their seed money to help grow ReNew Osceola. Other money will be raised through membership dues, contributions, donations, and grants.

Another thing that impressed Sell was the attendance of the board members to the check presentation Tuesday, especially being done on a weekday at 9 a.m.

Wilson said there is currently a lot going on behind the scenes and that Osceola residents will soon start to see tangible results from the project.

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