As temperatures slowly begin to drop off this weekend, Jennifer Jones is hoping people will be up for a little bocce ball tournament and a lot of Lowcountry boil.
Jones, the executive director of the Martha Lester School for Integrated Learning, and volunteers will host the event Saturday at 10 a.m. at Boeckh Park in North Augusta to raise funds to purchase the historic school on Broad Street to create a therapy academy for children 13 months to 6 years old with disabilities. The school will have a typical curriculum but therapies will be a part of the students’ schedule. Students without disabilities will also be accepted into the school.
The vision is similar to that of the woman for whom the school is named. Martha Lester wanted to help the Augusta community, especially those in the King Mill area. A decade after her death in 1924, the board of education decided to build a school in her honor. Jones felt it was important to keep her name on their school to continue her legacy.
The school has been vacant since Clay Boardman, owner of Flywheel LLC, purchased the building from the Richmond County Board of Education. Boardman’s company purchases property, predominantly in the Harrisburg area, to help preserve the history of the buildings.
Over the next few months, Jones is holding fundraisers to purchase the building which she says is priced around $1 million. Flywheel purchased the building for $241,000 according to school board meeting minutes.
Social tickets for the event are $25 and bocce teams of four may enter for $250. For more information about the Bocce Boil, call (706) 383-3776 or visit AugustaTherapyAcademy.org.