ACE welcomes a new director

The new director of All Cultures Equal in Webster City has been working this past month to continue to build the organization.

Janet Toering is the new Executive Director of ACE, and began her part-time work for the organization on Sept. 3. She said ACE is dedicated to building cultural acceptance, youth development and equal opportunity through education, outreach and cultural exchange.

“It seems like a good fit because I love the mission of All Cultures Equal,” Toering said.

Toering has been involved with ACE in the past. She helped to start the community garden that sits on the property near the east end of Webster City though FEAST, the food education action sustainability team. Since arriving at her director post, she has seen the UDMO food pantry move out of its temporary house in Moun Hall at ACE after it finished renovations in their shared building and has been hard at work to build many other things.

“We worked on our building to update it and we’re building relationships, new program opportunities and events here,” Toering said.

A new English as a second language class has recently opened at ACE. Two new teachers and a computer lab have been brought into the building. Toering said that 16 people came to the first class which is held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The organization will host a harvest celebration with Sunset Heights Elementary School gardeners preparing stone soup on Oct. 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. as part of the FEAST program. The food will be prepared with items from the community garden and other local produce items.

A December Winter Wonderland celebration at ACE will also host a variety of festivities and showcase how different cultures celebrate during the holidays. These events and activities are all focused on the mission of All Cultures Equal.

“We’re trying to figure out how to get the community to work together,” Toering said. “Not at separate little sections, but together.”

All Cultures Equal relies on community volunteers for many projects and events. Toering said many of those volunteers come through Hamilton County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Webster City schools. The organization is a non-profit run by a board of directors who meet the third Monday of every other month at 5 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 21 and are open to the public.

For more information, or to find out how to volunteer, contact All Cultures Equal at 450-4973. The hours at ACE vary but Toering is usually in between 9 a.m. and noon during weekdays.