Westchester Rotarians, led by club president Tori Hettinger (upper left, with Tom Johnson), spent the weekend rehabbing the Westchester Townhouse, which included a 1970s mural restoration by Otis instructor David Russell.
(Upper right photo by Lek Pollard, others by Zsuzsi Steiner.)

The Westchester Townhouse has a new lease on life, thanks to the Rotary Club of Westchester’s biennial Makeover Project. The popular community center was looking a little worse for wear after 74 years of hosting meetings of Boy and Girl Scout troops and other local youth groups, but now it has new doors, windows, stage curtains, cabinetry and floors, plus newly refurbished wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.

“We were in the process of looking for a [Makeover Project] recipient when Townhouse board member Anne-Marie Ross came to our club to ask for a donation for new doors. That kind of got the wheels spinning on our end,” said Tori Hettinger, president of the Westchester Rotary Club. “We said, ‘Pretend we’re Santa Claus. Whatever you have a wish for, we’ll see if we can grant that.’”

More than 100 Rotarians and community volunteers pitched in to help with the renovation from Feb. 28 to March 3. Club members raised $60,000 for the project and an additional $40,000 from local sponsors, including the Drolinger Family Charitable Foundation, the Hannon Foundation, the Westchester Women’s Club and the Westwood Village Rotary, said Hettinger. The club also worked with professional tradesmen to secure reduced-price supplies and the donation of their time.

“It feels amazing to be able to make a change in the community that affects so many,” said Hettinger. “Now the Westchester Townhouse can offer the space to more youth groups. We love making a community impact like that.”

— Christina Campodonico