Published July 7th, 2021
Friends succeed in raising more than $500K; purchase of Moraga Adobe assured
By Sora O'Doherty
The Friends of the Moraga Adobe have raised more than enough funds to meet the $500,000 price to purchase the adobe. The Friends will take title to the building, restored by developer J&J Ranch in September and will continue fundraising with a goal of funding a half-million-dollar annuity to provide for running the adobe as a public museum and learning center.
According to the Friends, this is a huge milestone that means the Adobe will be saved for future generations to enjoy. The developers are currently rehabilitating the Adobe to its 1848 configuration which includes the original two rooms plus three additional bedrooms. After the building's rehabilitation is complete FJMA will own the Adobe and surrounding 2-plus acres and will work on opening it to the public.
President of the FJMA Kent Long said that the announcement was "welcome news that we have been waiting a decade to see." In its newsletter to the community, the Friends noted that they could not have done it without strong community support. In particular, the Moraga Historical Society was one of the first organizations to come forward, pledging to raise $100,000 toward the purchase, an ambitious goal which they recently met. Other community groups including the Orinda Community Foundation, Orinda Historical Society, Orinda Parks & Recreation Foundation, Orinda Woman's Club, and the Miramonte Latin Club have all donated to help make this possible.
The Friends are currently finalizing categories in which to honor donors. Bricks that will be used to construct walkways around the facility can be purchased and will bear the name and message of the donor.
In other FJMA news, the group elected a new slate of officers, with Kent Long remaining as president, Tania DeGroot as vice president and Jeff Boreo as secretary. Former treasurer Bob Thompson has moved to Tennessee, but will continue to back up new treasurer, Margaret Beck. Beck first joined FJMA as a volunteer in 2019, inspired by her love of history, architecture and her own family legacy of adobe preservation. Her mother grew up in the Customs House in Yuma, the oldest adobe building in Arizona - and thanks to her grandmother and the local ladies' Assistance League, that building was restored and turned into a museum. The group also adopted a proclamation honoring architect James Wright, who retired from the board. The FJMA recognized his work on gathering the history of the adobe, offering his home for a fundraising fandango before the COVID-19 pandemic, and creating a 3D model of the building.

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