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AntFarm reaches fundraising objective

Nothing was guaranteed when Kickstarter, a fundraising organization, teamed up with AntFarm to raise enough funds to open a cafe and bakery in Sandy. AntFarm was required to set a financial goal and would receive all of the money raised if that amount was donated.

But if AntFarm couldn’t reach the preset amount, it would get nothing.

With cautious optimism, AntFarm decided on a goal of $30,000, and Kickstarter, which would receive the pledges, granted 30 days to raise the money.

Despite moments of uncertainty and worry, AntFarm met its goal — a week before the deadline.

“We made regular progress as we went on,” said Nunpa, executive director of AntFarm and Woape. “But it seemed so daunting.”

AntFarm raised more than $32,000 when the challenge ended Tuesday, Dec. 4, and that will be enough money to complete the cafe, which could open in early February.

“The support has been unbelievable,” said Kim Wheeler, a volunteer and board member. “We’ve been campaigning and trying to get people to donate, and it’s just been overwhelmingly successful.”

When the cafe and bakery open, they will be run by a volunteer staff. AntFarm will offer 6-1/2-week rotations for 48 internships, which will provide kids with resumés, job and interview training, along with food handling and customer interaction experience.

“I think what’s amazed the community is the difference we’re making — the changes we’re making in the youths who come in,” Wheeler said. “The kids are coming and they’re getting direction. We have rules. They’re getting tutoring with their schooling. They’re volunteering. They’re getting connected with the elderly in the community. It’s been this cycle.”

AntFarm and the cafe and bakery will employ youths from Boring to the mountain villages. A small stipend will be offered to its volunteers, but fundraising efforts will continue even though the Kickstarter program has ended.

For more information about how to donate, visit antfarm-international.com.