Surprise will be revealed at kick off event

The fundraising steering committee of the $1.7 million capital campaign to build a new aquatic center to serve the Caledonia, Brownsville, Eitzen, Freeburg and Houston area is receiving positive results from its solicitation efforts and will release the total amount pledged at a kick off event Thursday, Oct. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Four Seasons Community Center in Caledonia.

Turkey sandwiches, hot dogs, chocolate chip cookies and lemonade will be served at a cost of $3 per person. There will be a free will offering for children under 8. Bottled water will be available for a $1 charge.

Caledonia Mayor Bob Burns and radio personality Phil Costigan will emcee the event and show a presentation outlining the background of the aquatic center campaign.

Volunteers will be introduced, prizes will be given and campaign materials will be available. A special guest will help unveil the total amount pledged at the event’s conclusion using audience participation.

“Our committee is working hard and people are being generous,” said Tim Murphy, committee chairperson. “We would like to surprise everyone with the announcement of the total amount raised at this fun event that will be open to the public. We will mark the occasion for what we will have accomplished and encourage everyone to give to reach the final goal. The event will be a celebration – not a solicitation,” he said.

Committee member Ed Ferkingstad said the group is soliciting businesses, organizations and individuals for pledges and outright gifts because they believe the current pool desperately needs renovation to better serve the community well into the future.

“We see a key part of our solicitation effort is to educate our prospective donors on the important nature of aquatic centers, especially to teach water safety courses to children,” Ferkingstad said.

Steve Reiman, who also serves on the committee, encourages everyone to come to the kick off event. “This campaign is about so much more than swimming,” Reiman said. “It is about water safety for children, health and wellness, recreational opportunities, economic growth and community spirit. Our kick off event will show everyone how.”

Anyone wishing to pledge or review campaign information can call Jessica Kohnen at 725-3450 or pick up campaign materials at city hall.