New Castle News

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November 2, 2013

County gives money to coffeehouse

NEW CASTLE — A grant of Marcellus Shale legacy money has pushed a local coffeehouse project closer to an opening date.

The Lawrence County commissioners agreed to give $7,500 in Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund money to the Mohawk Coffee House, or “MoCo House,” a cooperative project of several Bessemer area churches. The Legacy Fund was established by state law and provides local governments with a share of oil and gas drilling profits.

Launched one year ago, the coffeehouse project is now under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. The foundation accepted the grant on behalf of the coffehouse project and is serving as fiduciary for the non-profit organization. The foundation manages charitable assets for numerous non-profits in the region.

The $7,500 grant pushes the coffeehouse closer to an opening date, according to Nathan Leslie, pastor of Bessemer Presbyterian Church. He said the donation brings the money raised to about $35,000 towards a goal of $50,000 to $75,000. He said they hope to open in the next few months.

Right now volunteers have gutted the former Bessemer Diner on East Poland Avenue and remodeling and purchase of equipment is set to begin.

Leslie said 30 to 40 volunteers drawn from the local churches and several individuals and community groups have donated money.

The coffeehouse is a joint project of Bessemer Presbyterian, Westfield Presbyterian, Bethel Evangelical Presbyterian, Christ the King Parish and First Covenant Church.

Organizers want to establish a community gathering place providing fellowship and outreach.

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