Just Be Cause Center Ribbon-Cutting and Open House

ITHACA, NY – The Just Be Cause Not for Profit Development Center (JBCC) will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on June 20 from 3 to 5 pm. The public is invited to the ceremony and to tour the new center.

The JBCC, located at 1013 W. State Street in the old Ithaca Paint Company building, will fulfill some of the functions lost when the Women’s Community Building closed. It has five office spaces, a conference room, and two multi-purpose activity rooms for use by local non-profits.

“The building is dedicated to Judy Dietz, to honor the spirit of how she lived her life: caring for other people and always working to make sure the community is a better place to be,” said Jerry Dietz of his late wife. JBCC will be owned by the newly formed Just Be Cause Foundation and will be managed by Dietz’s company, C.S.P. Management, LLC.

The extensive renovation of the approximately 5,100 square foot building included new bathrooms, air conditioning, heating, carpeting, kitchen, WIFI and  shared office equipment. “We wanted it to be a really nice space to work in” said Dietz.

The rental for the offices will be well below market rate, in order to allow non-profits previously unable to afford dedicated office space to do so. Other community organizations will also be able to book time in the conference and activity rooms.

The goal, says Dietz, “is for the Just Be Cause Center to allow organizations to come together and draw energy from each other and operate more effectively because of that synergy.”

The Friendship Donations Network (FDN) will have both an office and storage space in the JBCC, allowing the organization to consolidate its currently scattered storage facilities. This will increase the efficiency with which food is stored and distributed  to local food pantries by FDN.

Running to Places (R2P), a youth theater company, will have an office and use of both activity rooms for rehearsal. The sprung floor in the activity rooms and the mirror-lined wall make the spaces perfect for dancing as well as theater arts. Using these spaces, R2P will be able to significantly expand its programming, and is planning summer workshops as well as classes during the year in dance and theater arts.

The Kitchen Theater, which has been in need of expanded rehearsal space, will also use the activity rooms for rehearsals.

Mira’s Movement, an organization supporting children with cancer and their families, will have an office in the JBCC, as will IPEI, the Ithaca Public Education Initiative. The fifth office will be occupied by Woods Earth Living Classroom, which runs a community-style garden where children are taught to raise food, which is then sold for use in school lunch and snack programs.

An annual fundraiser at Agava Restaurant on July 28—in memory of the party held last July for Judy Dietz “just because”—will help support the JBCC’s operating costs.. A different non-profit will be chosen each year to receive 2/3 of the money raised. The 2013 recipient will be Loaves and Fishes, Ithaca’s community kitchen, in honor of their 30th anniversary.