BUCKHANNON – Jenkins Ford and Jenkins Subaru-Hyundai – collectively known as Jenkins Automotive – on Tuesday made the largest donation the City of Buckhannon has ever received, giving $25,000 to the Stockert Youth & Community Center’s capital campaign.

The purpose of the capital campaign is to raise enough money to construct a new all-purpose gymnasium/auditorium.

Mayor David McCauley said this donation means SYCC’s capital campaign has raised over $300,000 for the new building.

“John Jenkins is a longtime friend and client,” McCauley said. “I incorporated his business back in the late 1980s and recently, we had lunch, and I asked him if he would support our capital campaign. You have to understand Buckhannon doesn’t have a YMCA, so the Stockert Youth & Community Center is the equivalent of our YMCA, and for John to become our single biggest benefactor is just huge. This $25,000 puts us over $300,000 on our $450,000 capital campaign, so we’re edging closer to being able to break ground on a new building.”

John Jenkins said the community has supported Jenkins Ford and Jenkins Subaru-Hyundai for 30 years, and they wanted to give back.

“The community has supported us in so many ways,” Jenkins said. “This is our way to give back to the children of this county that will have a place to go and have good memories, exercise, cheerlead, whatever the function may be, they will have a nice facility to go and we’re really blessed to be able to do this on behalf of the Jenkins family and all of our employees.”

“It’s our pleasure to be here today,” he added.

McCauley said while the new building will have a gymnasium, it will also serve several other purposes.

“It will, in fact, be a gymnasium and an auditorium, but the back end of it is going to be open so that we can bring in a couple of dozen old cars to have winter car cruise-ins, and if we have inclement weather at Festival Fridays, we will open up the whole back end and bring the Festival Friday group right into this multi-use space,” McCauley said. “You’ll be able to have several hundred people in there just like you would in Jawbone Park.”

Jenkins said he hopes his business’s donation will also inspire others to contribute to the campaign.

“We want to let the community know that we’re behind the project and maybe others will come forth, others have already contributed and others will continue to contribute so we can make this as quick as possible to get this project completed,” Jenkins said.

McCauley said any donation to the campaign is appreciated.

“I know not everybody can give $25,000, but maybe you can give $20, and we will recognize every single gift that is made no matter how big or how small,” McCauley said.

Those interested in donating to the campaign can call city hall at 304-472-1651 or go to www.buckhannonwv.org/about-the-city/donate-syc/.