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Posted: March 12, 2011 5:14 p.m.

Friends help community center

Two years ago, Doug Vason and three friends donated $600 to the Washington Street Community Center.

It was money they set aside from their change each day, a quarter to a dollar a day.

But Vason wasn't satisfied and he began recruiting others to join his cause. His perseverance has paid off and the group, Friends of Washington Street, now has 54 members and raised more than $6,000 in 2010.

"Everybody from the director down to the students really appreciate the commitment that people in the community are making," Vason said. "We've really done great things for the children, all the children."

The center, 4138 School St. in Covington, is a non-profit youth enrichment organization  known for its after-school tutoring program. The center also partners with other community organizations to teach youth about art, culture, drama, music and sports.

Vason and his wife, Carolyn, live in Atlanta, where Vason owns Vason Concrete Construction. They volunteer at Washington Street when they have time and Vason is on the board of directors.
At the beginning of the year, the 36 members of the Friends of Washington Street pledged $3,000. Having more than doubled that pledge by the end of the year, Vason is happy, but he isn't satisfied.

"About 95 percent of our friends are individuals, but this coming year we want to make a push to bring on more businesses," Vason said. "We just want to continue to increase donations in 2011 and thank all of our friends and supporters."

To learn more about the Friends of Washington Street or to donate, call Vason at (770) 633-1940 or Washington Street Executive Director Bea Jackson at (770) 786-4002, or visit the center.

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