Summit County Clubhouse readies its New Year’s resolutions

Plans include visibility and renovations

Summit County Clubhouse members have a lot to smile about. The mental wellness advocacy nonprofit celebrated its one-year anniversary and secured a home last year. Executive Director Amber Mackay is looking to start some new programs this year to help their members find and maintain employment, and contribute to the community.
Courtesy of Summit County Clubhouse

Summit County Clubhouse took 2020 by storm, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mental wellness advocacy nonprofit, which helps individuals who are living with mental illness gain access to employment, friendships and education, was only 5 months old when COVID-19 reared its head.

Instead of canceling its support groups, the nonprofit pivoted these sessions to a digital format, and maintained interaction with its members via Zoom, text, email and phone calls.

It also found a permanent home, after meeting for a few weeks in a small room at the Christian Center of Park City.

“I can’t believe this all happened within a year,” said Executive Director Amber Mackay. “With all that has happened, it seems like we’ve been around for five years.”

Riding on the 2020 accomplishments, Mackay, her staff and her club members are busy making New Year’s resolutions, which include personal resolutions as well.

“We want our members to understand why it’s important to make goals, and how we can accomplish those goals so these resolutions don’t go by the wayside,” she said. “We want them to be cognitive about making good and attainable resolutions, and we want them to experience how good it feels to accomplish them.”

Reaching out into communities such as Coalville and Kamas is another 2021 resolution for the Clubhouse, Mackay said.

“We want people to recognize we’re here and learn about our programs,” she said. “We are moving into our second year, so we’re trying to ramp up visibility.”

Mackay and her staff are also preparing to launch a major gift campaign to raise money for renovations on their new home, which is located near Round Valley.

“We need to convert the property to fit our needs and make it (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant,” Mackay said. “We want to make it a place where we can thrive and grow in.”

Mackay and the board have already contacted contractors who have looked at the building.

“They are now working on bids on how much it will cost to do these renovations,” she said. “So the campaign will help raise the money to pay for the work. Our goal is to get into the building in the spring.”

In the meantime, Summit County Clubhouse will continue serving members through ongoing programs that include hosting wellness sessions and helping them find and maintain employment.

“We host a program called Wellness on Wednesday where we focus on an aspect of wellness, including financial wellness,” Mackay said. “Of course we want to make sure our members are healthy. So we want to get them active with yoga, and check their cholesterol.”

The Clubhouse also hosts sessions about good nutrition and how to cook on a budget.

“A lot of our members are low income, and we want to make sure they are healthy,” Mackay said.

On the employment initiatives, the Clubhouse set a goal to establish employment relationships with businesses that will hire its members.

“We want to partner with businesses who will work with our members to help them become amazing employees and community members,” Mackay said. “We’re proud to say all of our members who have jobs were able to keep them during the pandemic.”

While that was a feat, many of the members had their hours scaled back, and when Mackay learned about the reduced workweek, she immediately recognized the need to provide emergency funding so the members could pay their bills.

The emergency funding came in the form of a $20,000 Park City Community Foundation grant, Mackay said.

“We turned that money into an emergency fund so we could support our members,” she said.

In addition, private donors, government agencies and local businesses all stepped up in their support of the Clubhouse during the past year.

“They were so generous with their time and money, and without them, I don’t think we would have survived this year,” Mackay said. “And we’re excited for our future.”

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Scene Happenings: Sept. 23 – Sept. 28

Saturday morning nature walks are held at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Swaner EcoCenter. The cost is $10 per person and $5 for local residents.

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