New Community Center Bridges the Gap Between Residents, Nonprofits and Resources in Downtown Carlisle | Carlisle

In February 2021, Tanis Monroy spoke about her dream of opening a community space in downtown Carlisle on a first date.

On Friday, Tanis and his wife, Colleen Monroy, launch the official opening of this community center, called the bridge.

The Monroys said they opened the bridge at 29 W. High St. about a month ago, but Friday’s reception will serve as an open house for the community to find out what the center is and how to get involved.

The reception starts at 6:00 p.m. with food from local restaurants. Complimentary wine and beer will be offered to attendees 21 and older beginning at 7 p.m. and the reception ends at 9 p.m.

“It will mainly be an opportunity for people to learn more about space, to learn more about what we do as a bridge,” Colleen said. “We have a lot of games, so hopefully people will enjoy them too and make it a really fun night.”

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She said the bridge’s mission is to give residents a place to call “home in their hometown.”

“Some of the ways we do that are just by opening our free space on Fridays and Saturdays and then we also have free classes and workshops and just a club hangout, game nights, all kinds of things to to bring. community together,” she said.

The bridge is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and throughout the week to host a variety of free events, including a chess club, yoga classes, garden club and more. It also includes a free coffee bar that serves products from local businesses, such as Denim Coffee in Carlisle and Colina in Harrisburg.

A resident of Carlisle for more than 20 years, Tanis said his role as chair of the Amani committee helped him learn about the community and its network.

“We want to be the bridge between the residents, the nonprofits and the resources of this city and somehow tie them all together,” he said. “That’s really what’s missing.”

He told Colleen about his plans for the center during their first date at Hook and Flask Still Works a few blocks away and said she’s been on board ever since. Colleen joined the Carlisle community when she and Tanis married in September.

“We love Carlisle and we know a lot about him,” he said. “Why not share this love with other people?”

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The space once served as the GB Stuart Workshop at the Cumberland County Historical Society, an interactive children’s museum. However, Tanis said the company hasn’t used the space for six or seven years.

He said he had known about the Historical Society for a long time and was looking for a place to open a community center. Tanis and Colleen approached the company with their vision to unite the community, and the company was thrilled to see the space put to good use, making it a “win-win for both groups,” he said. declared.

Tanis said the Historical Society’s visitor center, currently located in the back corner of his gift shop, will also move into the bridge.

“We’re going to kind of co-exist in this space, so it’s kind of going to be like a welcome center in Carlisle,” Colleen said.

The Monroys also have plenty of aspirations for the future of Bridge after Friday’s reception, including the possibility of a mentorship and internship scheme. Tanis said the bridge cafe-bar has also “travelled” to Farmers on the Square and plans to bring her back there throughout the summer.

The bridge is 100% dependent on volunteers and donations, he said.

“There are a variety of ways to get involved with us, from just being here during our opening hours and serving coffee to people and greeting people as they come in or to help us with stuff on the website and social media, like background type things, or if they want to teach a course of any type, that’s what we’re here for,” said Colleen. “We want the ideas, we want to be what the community wants it to be.”

Anyone interested in The Bridge’s upcoming events can find more information on its Facebook (The Bridge Carlisle) and Instagram (@thebridgecarlisle) pages.

Maddie Seiler is a reporter for The Sentinel and covering Carlisle and Newville. You can contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at: @SeilerMadalyn

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