By Zach Armstrong
HOPEWELL, Va -- The new Hopewell Moose Family Center in Hopewell opened its doors to children, young families and the community in January nearly two years following the devastating Feb. 28, 2019 fire that reduced the Hopewell Moose Lodge to rubble.
The new $4 million center is divided into two sections; one for the general public that will be used for bingo sessions, fundraising events, community service and the police memorial breakfast while the other section is for members-only.
The lodge helps a variety of organizations and events each year including VCU Massey Cancer Center, Special Olympics, Wreaths Across America, Hopewell Schools and feeds the homeless every week.
A statement on the center’s website reads “We believe in helping and supporting those in our area, from our schools, public safety, military and charitable organizations. From our membership dues, to goods purchased at the lodge, a portion goes to helping others! For our members, dinner and music nights, dances in our ballroom, pool tables and dart boards, game nights, there's something for everyone!”
“The Moose has always been willing to step in when there’s been a need in our community to assist and they’re just awesome partners to work with," said Lt. Paul Burroughs with Prince George County Police to WTVR Channel 6 in Richmond.
To avoid the possibility of another devastating fire, the new family center also has installed a sprinkler system.
The building perished in the flames of a 2019 fire that was battled by Hopewell Firefighters in addition to Prince George and Fort Lee fire crews. Hopewell Fire Chief Donny Hunter told WTVR following the fire it was one of the biggest he had ever seen telling the news network "This is one of my top ten, we don’t usually lose a whole building.”
Firefighters were able to retrieve an American flag making the item the only item that survived the previous location.