An anonymous company's 'Day of Sharing' benefited The Farm of Cultural Crossroads, a local non-profit organization that aims to promote a culturally rich community through the arts and agriculture.
More than 30 of the company's agents traveled from Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas to Minden Tuesday to use the $11,000-grant to spruce up the grounds at the corner of East Union and Talton streets.
"We were told this was one of the smallest communities to receive their 'Day of Sharing,'" said Chris Broussard, Cultural Crossroads board chairman. "They said the impact was felt stronger here than anywhere else, and that they were impressed with what we were doing in Minden – especially what we were doing in this neighborhood."
Broussard said the company insisted on remaining anonymous, however, that did not keep her from singing its praises.
"They traveled in and spent the night in Minden hotels, woke up early the next morning and really went to work at The Farm," she said. "They were so kind and gracious. The amount of work they did in one day is simply amazing."
One of the company's employees whose child had been to The Farm was the source of the nomination.
"I was told this child had been to The Farm and had an amazing experience," Broussard said. "The arts meant a lot to the child, and the parent felt it was important organizations like ours continue to promote the arts."
Broussard was admonished by the company to spend the $11,000 and gather supplies.
"I had quotes and receipts to show what we purchased," she said. "And, because of local businesses' help, projects' materials came in at $9,000."
The 'Day of Sharing' company told Broussard to use the remaining funds on Farm projects.
"I am overwhelmed by their generosity," she said.
Now, where sand and dirt were, turf has been placed, as well as an area with raised beds for gardening education.
Several flowerbeds were also added, including areas near newly-installed fencing and around Zenobia's House (named for Zenobia West who donated The Farm property).
"The fence and Zenobia's House are both examples of how Cultural Crossroads is truly a volunteer and community organization," Broussard said.
The fence was installed last year by Alex Montegna of Haughton.
"He chose this as his Eagle Scout project and we were so flattered he saw The Farm as a worthy place for his project," Broussard said. "Because of him, The Farm's curb appeal looks so much better."
Zenobia's House, a 900 square foot studio, was built with foundation funds from Beaird Foundation and an anonymous donor.
Since its opening last fall, Zenobia's House has been the site of several art classes, theater performances, art shows, birthday parties, meetings and will bring a climate-controlled bonus to Earth Camp this summer.
"Zenobia's House couldn't have been built without the support and financial donations of business and supporters," Broussard said. "Our organization works off of volunteer support and labor, so when we have a business or supporter donate in a big way, it motivates our volunteers to keep going, to keep our focus: that the arts in this area are important and worth promoting."
Cultural Crossroads, which manages The Farm, is the official arts organization for Webster Parish. Police Juror Jerri Lee visited The Farm on 'Day of Sharing.'
"It was so exciting to witness such a great group work cooperatively and quickly," Lee said. "The work they did is such a help and is really gorgeous."
Lee also noted how much the 'Day of Sharing' helped not only the physical attributes of The Farm but the volunteers that keep it running.
"It is a tremendous help to the volunteers of Cultural Crossroads," she said. "They are such an asset to us, when you think of all the work that is required and needed to run it. That we have volunteers to do it – this is a phenomenal help. It's something that was needed and is appreciated so much.
"I want to encourage people to come out and see the changes," Lee continued. "If they would come to The Farm, they would experience the peaceful charm that
The Farm offers. They are really missing a treat if they don't go and check it out."
Broussard said The Farm will be open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. this summer.