Serve Denton opens doors to new center

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Volunteers help paint the interior of Serve Denton’s new Assistance and Event Center, which recently opened.
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After nearly two years in the making, Serve Denton’s Assistance and Event Center is open for business on East University Drive.

The nonprofit organization welcomed its first two tenants — Rising Star Resource Development Corp. and Big Brothers Big Sisters Denton County — on Tuesday in what will eventually be an all-access hub to serve the community.

“We are a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits,” said Joe Ader, executive director for Serve Denton. “The opening of our first phase is a head start in becoming a self-sufficient infrastructure for people in need within the community.”

Ader said that generally, when someone can’t pay their mortgage, they are generally out of a job, and often they are out of a job because a family member is ill.

“It’s a domino effect, and housing multiple resources under one roof will help ease the transition and provide more immediate assistance,”Ader said.

By the end of 2015, the 32,000-square-foot center will house nonprofit agencies that serve 19 different areas of need — from housing assistance to employment services. Ader said the lease agreement from the Denton Bible Church is allowing them to currently use half the space and, as the church moves across the street, more space will be available for renovations.

Last year, Serve Denton raised $120,000 from its first annual celebration fundraiser and organizers said the funds from such events are what makes things like providing rent for $1 a year to nonprofits in the area possible.

Tickets are on sale for the second annual Serve Denton Celebration to take place at The Mill, located at 1910 E. University Drive, on April 12. The dinner and silent auction will include live jazz music and feature speaker Dave Dravecky of the San Francisco Giants.

Dravecky went from pitching in the Major League to speaking engagements after his last pitch split his arm in two at the age of 33.

“When I retired from baseball, I had no clue what I’d do with the rest of my life,” Dravecky said. “It ended in 1989 and all the sudden I had 1,500 requests to speak across the country to tell my story and publishers beating down my door to write my story.”

Dravecky said his upcoming speech at the annual fundraiser for Serve Denton will be tailored around the organization.

“It’s always a wonderful experience to come to new communities and meet new people and make new friends,” he said. “I’m really excited about coming to Denton.”

Ader said in addition to Dravecky, Jimmy Dorrell, executive director for Mission Waco, will be talking to attendees about the importance and impact an organization such as Serve Denton can have on their community.

“Our live auction will be host to many exclusive offerings, including dinner for four in the turret of the downtown Denton historic courthouse,” Ader said. “It will be an enjoyable evening and is our largest fundraiser of the year.”

Tickets cost $100 and will be on sale until 5 p.m. Sunday at If interested in making reservations over the phone, call Serve Denton at 940-268-5898.

Staff writer Adam Boedeker contributed to this report.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.

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