On Thursday, September 27th, the large red doors located behind the St. Paul’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church on Baltimore Avenue will be open to the public from 4 to 6 pm. The Red Doors Community Center will be celebrating their grand opening that Thursday evening. The brand new Community Center will be holding their first classes in October and hopes to have a significant amount of community member’s sign up for their enriching programs.
“This is a unique area because a lot of talented people from diverse professions have chosen to move to Delmarva for a lifestyle choice or for retirement, and we have a vibrant arts community.” said Fawn Fitzgerald Mete, Director of Ocean City’s new community center.
Many people who live in or move to the Ocean City area often look for an opportunity to take a class, participate in a club or activity, or register their kids for a class. Worcester County doesn’t have large universities or colleges that offer reasonably-priced hobby-derived courses that are open to the public. School-age children generally can only register for things like after-school sports teams, after-school clubs, or things of the like. Local recreation centers and the county YMCA offer classes to the public, but only after a club or registration fee is paid.
The goal of Red Doors is to provide new and different opportunities to the public rather than recreate the same offerings that already exist.
“We may have a program similar to something offered by a local government agency or business, but our programs are mostly ‘niche’ offerings that have been developed in response to a request or a need in the area,” said the Red Doors Director.
The Red Doors Community Center offers programs in the following areas:
Philanthropy and Community Service
Socializing and Networking
Creativity and Fine Arts
Spiritual Care and Growth
The most popular classes so far are the children’s dance classes. The Preschooler and Me Beginning Ballet, Jazz for 7 – 10 year olds, and Ballet I classes are filling up quickly.
“I think these classes are well-received because the short session format gives parents an opportunity to introduce their children to a new activity without making a commitment to a full-year program,” said Fitzgerald Mete.
The heart of The Red Doors Community Center is the philanthropy aspect. The center offers many free programs and events for those looking to register for classes, start a new hobby, or further their education. More free programs will be developed throughout the following months. Free youth classes, programs, and events will be planned after the initial opening of the Center based on a want and need by the community.
The Red Doors Community Center is an outreach of St. Paul’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Although the Community Center is a religiously affiliated non-profit organization, the programs offered are designed for people of all faiths or of no faith. If a program is of a religious nature, it will be evident in the program description. Red Doors plans to uses its affiliations only as a resource to connect to the community and increase opportunities for children and adults.
“I could highly recommend many of the programs, but I am most excited about the Latin Dance Nights because they offer a great
opportunity for couples to enjoy an activity that is not readily available in the area. I can’t wait to drag my husband to Salsa and Tango classes,” said Fitzgerald Mete.
“The free babysitting offered makes it really accessible for people with children to participate and not have the added expense of a sitter in order to have a date night.”
Also at the Grand Opening Celebration held on September 27th, the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the non-profit organization. The Mobile Science Museum will have a hands-on kid’s science exhibit set up in the center. Children and their families can enter for free and snow cones will be given to all of the kids who attend.
The last chance to sign up for October programs offered at the Red Door Community Center will be on Thursday, September 27th.
To view all programs, classes, and courses offered that the Red Doors Community Center, visit their website: Red Doors Community Center
If you are interested in proposing or facilitating a program, or if your business or organization would like to partner with Red Doors, please contact Fawn via a message on Facebook
or by calling 410-289-5576. The Facebook page is titled The Red Doors Community Center.
If you plan to attend:
Photos by Ami Reist.