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Non-profit group transforms popular Bayfield restaurant into a community center

Non-profit group transforms popular Bayfield restaurant into a community center
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 9:40 PM CST
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BAYFIELD, WI. (KBJR) - A popular restaurant in Bayfield known as Maggie’s, is getting a community makeover.

A local non-profit group named CORE has been creating community connections with older members for 15 years in hopes of making them feel more valued.

CORE leaders thought dedicating a community center just for them was one way to accomplish that mission.

“What a great way to honor Maggie’s legacy and move CORE into the space of this restaurant,” Mary Dougherty, Executive Director of CORE, said.

Mary Rice owned Maggie’s Restaurant for 40 years and founded CORE in 2006.

Rice hoped to open a community center while running a food pantry out of it.

A mission CORE volunteers share.

“It has been vitally important to me, especially during COVID, that no one goes hungry, no one should ever go hungry, our seniors especially should never go hungry,” Lisa Luttinen, CORE volunteer, said.

Rice passed in December of 2020, and her daughters wanted to make sure her final wish came true as a nod to her legacy.

“Continue on with her legacy of feeding people, getting people around the table, supporting people with her services, and having it all in this space,” Dougherty said.

CORE hopes to run Rice’s food pantry through the center and create a cozy space for members to gather, play games, drink a cup of coffee, and connect with others.

“Place is really important for people, and one of the things I love about being in a small community is that you always feel more a part of. It’s easy to be isolated in a bigger city,” Luttinen said.

Due to COVID-19, CORE leaders are running a drive-by food pantry while also handing out holiday gifts and winter clothes.

CORE leaders said they hope as COVID calms down, the center can officially open people can gather once again.

CORE leaders add that they are preparing to create a lending closet in the center.

They’ll lend out hospital equipment like wheelchairs, shower stools, hospital beds, and medical electronic equipment that’s donated from the community.

They don’t have an official opening date yet.

Click here to find out how to donate to CORE.

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