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Rainbow Village fundraising campaign finishes phase 2

In this file photo, Sondra Blue, program director and graduate of the Rainbow Village program, gives a tour of the new apartment buildings to Van Fletcher, a supporter of the facility, following an event in Duluth.

In this file photo, Sondra Blue, program director and graduate of the Rainbow Village program, gives a tour of the new apartment buildings to Van Fletcher, a supporter of the facility, following an event in Duluth.

DULUTH — A second phase of Rainbow Village’s latest fundraising campaign is finished, and it will allow the organization to focus on a three-story building.

Officials announced on Tuesday that a fundraising campaign of $2.9 million would allow for a 21,000-square-foot building to be home to children and youth programs, adult life skills programs, along with a community dining hall and kitchen. Construction is expected to begin immediately at the property located between Duluth Highway 120 and Fox Street.

A full-service early childhood education center on site would also serve children from six weeks through 4-years-old. And there would also be a media center and chapel.

Frank Circelli, founder and chairman of the Gem Shopping Network, also based in Duluth, donated $400,000, and officials said his gift allowed Rainbow Village to secure a grant of $500,000.

“Rainbow Village is a blessing to so many in our community and I am honored to be a part of this organization,” Circelli said in a press release.

Other gifts came from individuals, families, foundations and businesses.

The campaign, called “Building Strong Communities ... One Family at a Time” is a three-phase project that aims to ultimately allow for an all-inclusive 30 family village supported by the community center and family service center.

“When we launched the campaign, we knew that many generous investors with a passion for helping the homeless would step out in faith, and they have not disappointed us,” Rainbow Village CEO Nancy Yancey said in a press release. “We are immensely honored and proud of the support we’ve received to be able to move into the next phase of the campaign and ensure Rainbow Village will continue to impact lives for generations to come.”