Aquatic center campaign sets out to raise $1.7 million

A group of Caledonia area citizens is pleased with the early solicitation responses for the S.O.S.  Support Our Swimming Pool Campaign to raise $1.7 million, which will be used to replace the current pool.

Members of the campaign cabinet are: Paul Fisch, Ed Ferkingstad, Jim Hoscheit, Jeb Griffith, Harley Meiners, Tim Murphy, Tom Murphy, Steve Reiman, Craig Schroeder and Joanne Zard.

“I’m pleased to be able to be a part of this fundraising group,” said Tim Murphy, who has also served on the pre-campaign steering committee.

“This is a great project that will reclaim an important facility for future generations,” Jeb Griffith said. “There is already much commitment and enthusiasm backing these efforts for the last several years. I’m proud to be a part of this project to assist the committee in making it happen for our area.”

Many individuals have provided input for the campaign over the past several months. Volunteers have researched the benefits and need to renovate the current pool into a family aquatic center, developed the campaign’s case for support, organized attractive campaign materials, walked in area parades with 100-degree heat promoting the campaign and identified individuals to help solicit needed funds.

The City of Caledonia is committing $400,000 toward the campaign.

“We are going to be working hard to have face-to-face visits with as many area residents as possible to share the important story of this project,” Jim Hoscheit said. “Offering community assets like the aquatic center it’s absolutely critical to regions like ours – it helps us retain current residents and businesses and attracts new ones to the area,” he said.

“This aquatic center concept is the best, most cost effective solution that exists to renovate our failing pool. With a bather load of approximately 500 and many exciting water features, it provides a bigger draw to increase revenue potential over our tank pool,” added Hoscheit.

Joanne Zard is a member of the Dolphins swim group, which has been a catalyst for the project. The group recently completed a second pool party to provide a fun family event and bring awareness to the need.

Zard anticipates an exciting and fun campaign with much community involvement, and she is confident the campaign will be a success.

“We are very confident many area residents will see the benefit of investing in this aquatic center, which is ultimately an investment into the health and well being of our entire area,” she said.

“With everyone’s help, we can once again have a functional and well-used facility that all area citizens may enjoy far into the future,” Griffith said. “I urge everyone in our area — those who live and work in Caledonia, Brownsville, Eitzen, Freeburg and Houston  – to take part in this campaign. We all have a stake in making our area a better place to live. Every dollar will count.”