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June 16, 2021

Felton Community Hall reopens, looks for new members

From birthday parties to weddings to Jazzercise and Zumba, the Felton Community Hall has been a local place to host events and make memories.

After 100 years as a neighborhood hub, members of its board of directors are looking for the community to help keep the hall open. 

Like so many other businesses and industries that were impacted by Covid, the hall had to shut down operations entirely as Santa Cruz County moved through the various tiers of closures assigned by the Department of Public Health. Now, with the county firmly planted in the yellow tier, the hall’s monitors are ready to invite the public back through its doors.

Board President Gene Frost and his wife and former Board President, Leah, are looking for a resurgence of bookings to help make ends meet. Having been in the community for 30 years, the couple has long been involved in supporting the hall, and they and their fellow board members are excited to welcome bookings for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. 

“We’ve hosted balls, dances, quinceañeras, weddings, 4-H meetings, African drum circles, craft fairs, holiday parties and more,” Frost said. “Before San Lorenzo Valley High School built their theater, we used to host their annual drama awards banquet. We count on the income stream to maintain the hall, and because we haven’t hosted large events (Representatives Anna Eshoo and Mark Stone have both held town hall meetings at the facility), we find that we’re struggling to keep the doors open.”

Steve Goodman is in charge of fundraising; he’s not a board member, but has been involved with the hall for many years. Goodman points to fixed costs like insurance that have sapped the operating account for the facility over the past year, and he’s ready to enrich those coffers.

Leah Frost says they’re looking for new members, new board members, and new ideas to keep the hall fresh and on a forward trajectory for the next 100 years, thanks in part to the Felton Community Club. Gene Frost says the Felton Community Club is in charge of the hall, and that group has been around since 1919.

Linda Kelley is the secretary of the Felton Community Club, and became involved in supporting the facility after the old hall burned in 1990. 

“There’s been an incredible journey, and some impactful people have been part of the hall’s history,” she said. “We’d like to continue the hall for the community in the future, and get younger folks involved in its function.”

The Felton Community Hall Board of Directors is looking for donations, new board members, and groups to begin booking events once again. For information, visit feltonhall.org.

Tony Nuñez
Managing Editor Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor for five years before entering his current role in 2019. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus, he covers the city, business, housing, entertainment and more.