Wellborn Community Center in dire need of funds, more volunteers

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WELLBORN, Tex. (KBTX) - Leaders at the Wellborn Community Center are reaching out to area residents for help.

They said Thursday they are struggling to keep things going at the Community Center and Cemetery. Their long time former treasurer was arrested last year for embezzling from the non-profit. Last July, Mary Beth Hammock was arrested for stealing around $100,000 over a period of years.

Now, COVID-19 forced them to cancel their spring fundraiser. Volunteers that run things said they need help keeping this cemetery and the community center going. The Wellborn Cemetery is the final resting place for some of Brazos County's earliest settlers. You probably know some of the names like Royder and Dowling. There are nearby roads named after them.

"A lot of the families that are here and buried here they don’t have any family remaining so it’s important just to keep it nice and kept," said Kristie Poole, who keeps the records at the cemetery and is treasurer of the Wellborn Community Center.

She said they are stretched thin trying to keep the cemetery maintained with not enough volunteers. They have also lost additional income with no recent events inside the community center.

"We depend on money from the rentals," she said.

To make matters worse, a lot of their money is still tied up in Hammock's criminal court case. A trial date has not been set for Hammock yet.

"Now it’s a waiting game and between the DA’s office and the defendant's attorney's and how that works out so it could be months it could be a year or two before things are worked out there," said Jeff Reeves, a local Brazos County Constable who also serves as a volunteer board member for the community center.

"We are absolutely in a hole right now and it’s getting it’s not getting any better right now, so any help," said Verda Beasley, Wellborn Community Center Secretary.

Besides volunteers to do yard work, they could use thousands of dollars for things like removing dead trees near graves to fixing facilities.

"Our pavilion has termites. It's going to have to be replaced," said Diane McCleary, a Wellborn Community Center Board Member.

A perfect storm of financial and physical needs.

"Time, talent, money. Accept it all. Anything is welcome," said Poole.

KBTX checked with the Brazos County District Attorney's Office Thursday. They said a status hearing for Mary Beth Hammock was scheduled for March but canceled due to COVID-19. She's facing a third-degree felony charge.

If you'd like to donate or volunteer at the Wellborn Community Center you can contact Raymond Olsen at 979-255-5560. The group said donations are also tax-deductible.