Wave of the Future committee continues pool fundraising

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Wave of the Future committee members accepted a pledge for $5,000 from Black Hills Energy last week. From left are Peg Thein, Dennis McNeal of Black Hills, MJ Smith, Molly Moser and Norma Thiese. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

The Wave of the Future committee has continued its hard work and bi-weekly meetings following a successful bond referendum on March 6. Grant writing efforts have intensified now that community support has been secured, communication continues with potential in-kind donors for labor and materials, and community members have planned further fundraising events for the project. 

“Members of our capital campaign committee are committed to seeing the project through to the last dollar,” said Wave of the Future co-chair Jessica Cline. “We will continue to fundraise with the goal of lowering the amount of the city’s bond referendum to ease the burden on taxpayers.”

The three-member grant writing committee consisting of volunteers Norma Thiese, Peg Thein and Molly Moser has submitted applications to local, regional and state entities with the potential to contribute up to $640,000 to the project. This amount would directly reduce the amount needed from the referendum. 

“It has been heartwarming and very rewarding to be an integral part of such a wonderful community project. The grant committee has spent countless hours researching and writing grants to help finance the pool project,” said Thein. “Molly, Norma, and I work well together bouncing off ideas and strategies towards finding funding to provide a safe, fun, and accessible pool for people of all ages. It’s exciting!”

“Working on the pool grant committee has been a fun and rewarding experience. Our grant committee has put in many hours working together (and individually on our own) while learning about funding opportunities and applying for grants,” said Thiese. “This work forced me to read Guttenberg’s 2030 Comprehensive Smart Plan and I learned a lot about the community by doing so! We have also studied county-wide plans, which has helped us understand the needs in a broader area. Our committee has spent a lot of up-front time working to understand the area’s needs and goals. I’m glad to know that I live in a community where residents have the passion and drive to meet such worthwhile objectives.”

MJ Smith, member of the Pool Committee and Wave of the Future Campaign team, is the Director of Affiliate Foundations for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The organization makes thousands of grants annually, and Smith has both written and reviewed successful grants for two decades. Smith said, “There are numerous state and regional partners to help Guttenberg claim a brighter future. The Wave of the Future grant committee members Molly Moser, Peg Thein, and Norma Thiese, have done the hard work of reaching out and cultivating relationships with funding partners. They have used full disclosure to share our community’s compelling story about the challenge to replace our pool and provide swimming lessons for kids who grow up by the river. They are now on the verge of several successes that will potentially decrease the financial burden to taxpayers. I have observed their due diligence. This team comes to the task with a keen eye for detail and are now more experienced for the next time our community needs grantwriters. The Wave of the Future experience, in total, has been a good example for Guttenberg on how to flex muscles to get big things done. We all are indebted to Molly, Peg and Norma.”

Contributions from private individuals and area businesses keep coming, and every dollar counts. The Speede Shop of Garnavillo gave $200 from their Penny at the Pump program for the month of March, and further participation in the program is scheduled for May and September. A pledge of $5,000 from Black Hills Energy is the most recent contribution. “Building strong communities is one of the key focus areas of our giving philosophy. We like to invest in projects like this that will improve the quality of life in the communities we serve and will be enjoyed by so many of our customers,” said Laura Roussell, senior community affairs manager for Black Hills Energy. 

Consultant Burbach Aquatics, Inc., is finalizing design concepts for the bathhouse and pool area, and meeting with contractors regarding any potential in-kind donations of labor or materials. 

A May 12 fundraiser is being planned by Brown’s Sales and Leasing in Guttenberg. Readers may be familiar with Ford’s ‘Drive One 4 Your Community’ events hosted annually by Clayton Ridge athletic programs, and the same concept applies to this event. Licensed drivers may test drive new Ford vehicles provided by Brown’s, and Ford will give a $20 donation to the Wave of the Future for each test drive.

The project is on track for groundbreaking in August, after pool closure, and completion in the summer of 2019.

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