By Bryan Boggiano
The Coral Springs Foundation is seeking help from the community to cover costs for their new community center and mosque.
CSF was founded in 2003 for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes and is dedicated to addressing the spiritual, social, and cultural needs of Turkish-American and Muslim communities in South Florida.
Davud Hanci, the executive director, said the organization aims to contribute to the local community by organizing spiritual, educational, and enrichment activities for the youth and adults while connecting bridges among people of diverse backgrounds through intercultural and interfaith events.
Currently, the facility houses the organization’s offices and includes smaller gathering and prayer spaces. But, the organization hopes to expand.
CSF wants to renovate the building by increasing the prayer room’s size by about 900 square feet and creating a multipurpose hall.
Due to rising material and labor costs, CSF estimates the renovations will cost around $120,000. To cover those costs, they are asking for the community’s assistance. As of press time, they have raised $16,847 out of their $100,000 goal.
“The center will help new coming Turkish Americans adapt more easily to their new home, have a sense of belonging and safety, as well as building bridges between American Muslims and other faith traditions towards mutual understanding,” Hanci said.
Hanci estimates the foundation serves about 1,000 people throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. They currently have about 200 participants, so having more space, he said, is essential to building community ties.
“We believe that strong and resilient communities are essential to attain global peace and happiness, and [they] can be built only by getting to know each other [and] sharing our experiences,” he said.
Hanci said he plans for the center to offer cultural enrichment and outreach activities, community gatherings, celebrations for religious holidays, Friday and Eid prayers, Ramadan gatherings, and interfaith and intercultural costs.
Before COVID, CSF organized the Turkish food and culture festivals in Fort Lauderdale, interfaith and intercultural events with various churches and temples, Turkish classes, coffee nights, youth cultural enrichment activities, and religious and national holidays celebrations.
At the time, CSF did this under the name of the Istanbul Cultural Center.
CSF hopes to bring these activities back to South Florida and Coral Springs by expanding the center.
“We hope to revive our activities to bring our community together and build bridges between faiths and cultures in the colorfully diverse South Florida,” Hanci said.
Once the renovations are complete, Hanci hopes the center will positively impact Turkish Americans and those from beyond the community.
He said, “We are looking forward to hosting you, our neighbors, and local community at our new home with our traditional Turkish hospitality and getting to know each other better.”
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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