Hull Community Center celebrates a milestone

An old unused school building became the center of town in Hull, Illinois.

The Hull Community Center's café celebrated its one year anniversary November 15th.

Since its opening, the community center provided the small town with a place to come together.

"All my kids went to school here, and so did the lady who owns it, Lisa. She went to school here, they were in the same class some of them," community center patron John Wright said.

It is that sense of tradition that made Lisa Smith want to purchase the old school building to turn into a community center.

"We get thank yous all the time. People really appreciate what we're doing and trying to keep the community open," Smith said.

Hull Community Center hosts everything from bridge club meetings to birthday parties, but it is more than just a social venue. Smith uses the space to make show community support.

"We've hosted several fundraisers over the past year and a half where we've raised over $40,000 for various organizations or individuals that have cancer," Smith explained.

For a year now the café at the community center served food to visitors. Lately the menu has expanded to provide hot meals.

"I come here every Friday to get fish and take it home to eat," Wright said.

Hot meals draw in bigger crowds to the community center, which helps keep it going. Lisa Smith hopes to expand and provide even more services to the Hull community, even though she knows first hand just how much work she's getting into.

"It's non-stop its 24/7, about 18 to 20 hours a day here trying to get everything up and running," Smith said.

Hull community center will host an auction on December first starting at 10 a.m. Smith hopes to auction off some extra items as she clears out the rest of the school building.