Help seemed to come out of nowhere as a Pauls Valley community facility manned by some special clients is now on track to get a major upgrade.
Cathy Cash of the Garvin County Community Living Center never expected where a big-time assist would come from when she wrote a grant request hoping to take the Valley Market on South Walnut up a notch or two.
What Cash learned a few months ago was a $15,000 grant had been approved by the Bemis Company Foundation.
Even with the Bemis facility in Pauls Valley now being operated by Amcor of Amcor Flexibles North America the grant and planned upgrades are still well on the way to becoming a reality.
“When I wrote the grant I had a little retail store in mind. Clients of the living center work hard, so I wanted a place to get them out of the elements.”
The idea was use any grant monies to help construct a new permanent, climate controlled building at the outdoor plant market site allowing for expanded retail services.
“The director of the Bemis Foundation called me,” Cash says. “She said they have a plant in that area and they have funds that we can use for the community.
“I had never had anybody come to me wanting to give me money to help with a project.”
Then something else unexpected happened – a major wind storm in mid-June devastating all of Pauls Valley and a whole lot of places throughout much of Garvin County.
Power was down in PV for the better part of two to three days as the Valley Market site was all but completely wiped out.
With the market’s insurance company coming in to assess the damage, Cash says it was like moving back to square one – that is until the good news of a coverage pay-out was on the way.
“With the money we’ll get from the insurance company we’ll be able to do a bigger, more inclusive building,” she said.
“It will be one where the clients will be more involved with the customers.”
Luis Bogran, new plant manager for the local Amcor facility, says his company makes it a priority to help organizations in the cities where they’re located.
“The Bemis Foundation will continue to exist,” Bogran says.
“Amcor is a very progressive company. We’re committed to the communities where we operate.”
Amcor stepped in for Bemis back in June as the operator of the plant here in Pauls Valley.
Bergen adds the goal is to take the local plant up a notch or two as well.
“We have a goal that by 2025 all the plastic in our plant will be recyclable or reusable.”
For the past 15 years the nonprofit living center organization has operated the outdoor seasonal plant market in Pauls Valley.
Cash says typically the market opens in mid-March with potatoes, onions and cold weather vegetables. In the spring the market moves to plants it grows, along with bedding plants, shrubs, trees and garden dirt and pots.
A couple of years ago the market stopped growing some summer vegetables, instead moving to chrysanthemums in the fall and the purchase of pumpkins from growers locally and in Texas.
Then it’s a transition into Christmas trees ending the market’s year right before the holiday season.
Once the new structure is built at the site Valley Market is expected to operate year around.