The Shambhala Meditation Center of Milwaukee’s Dual Campaign for 2018.



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Case for Support

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For year’s we’ve been patching the roof and crossing our fingers…forestalling the burden to our members and friends involved in replacing a roof that is now 25 years old. And hoping that the small pieces of masonry that were falling from the south exterior wall were just a minor cosmetic problem that could easily be resolved when we eventually found the funding to replace the roof. The wakeup call came this spring when a member’s car, parked on the south side of the building was damaged by a somewhat larger piece of falling masonry.

A Building Committee, chaired by Napa Chayaworakul, and including Anne DeSellier, Tom Hade, Sarah Osborne, and John Neil Thompson, was formed to explore the condition of the building and assess the needed repairs. The committee engaged a structural engineer and a roofing consultant to study the scope of work needed and obtain bids. The results of that work can be found in their summary report.

The report was sobering and revealed three major cost areas to fully repairing our building:

  1. Repair interior joists damaged by water exposure over the years and replace the roof. A contract for this work has been signed in the amount of $24,000. Repair materials are now in place and this work will begin shortly.
  2. Restore the upstairs meditation hall. Opening the ceiling to expose the damaged joists for inspection and evaluation will necessitate drywall repair, some electrical work and replacement of the flooring (this time with a wood laminate/composite surface rather than carpeting). Costs for this interior work are estimated at $10-15,000.
  3. Repair the south wall exterior masonry. The masonry work we had hoped would be a minor cosmetic expense turned out to be major…estimated at $46,000.


Adding it all up, this work will cost nearly $100,000. Our members and friends have risen to the occasion in the past: we raised money for a down payment for the building   and to build out the upper level in 1993. It took an additional 10 years, but we raised the money to build out the lower level. When we needed money for a major exterior window repair project, our members and friends were there. We are talking to banks and will likely be able to raise part of the needed funds through a refinance of our mortgage. We will do what we can to cut costs.

Our “dual campaign” is called “Rebuild Restore and Sustain…” We will be asking for one-time donations with a goal of raising $50,000. Our new mortgage payment is likely to be about three times the amount of our existing mortgage. So the “sustain” portion of the campaign will be asking friends to become regular contributing members and current members to consider increasing their monthly donation.

Jay Wohlen is one of the group of original founding members of the Center. He was there on a hot and humid Saturday morning in 1993 when a small group did 15 minutes of sitting practice before ascending to the roof to tear off the old material before the current roof was installed. He was contributing financially before that and has ever since; in addition to donating the flowers and doing the Ikebana arrangements each week… for decades.

I asked him recently just why he was so dedicated to the Center? Why such a long-lasting commitment and contribution of both money and time? He didn’t hesitate before saying, simply, “This building has to be here.”

I think there will be quite a number of people who feel the same. More information will be coming soon. Please feel free to contact me or our Stewardship Committee Chair, Jennifer Evans if you have any questions.

Gary Reinke, Chagdzo (Finance Director)

Milwaukee Shambhala Center

Donate Now to the Rebuild, Restore and Sustain Campaign?