FM Rotarians launch $100k-in-100-days campaign


FORT MADISON – Local Rotarians are celebrating their 100th birthday in 2020 and to ramp up the celebration they’re launching a campaign to give a big facelift to Central Park.

The club’s annual citywide Picnic in the Park is scheduled for June 23, so club members decided to make the fundraising campaign a $100,000 in 100 days to celebrate their 100th birthday.

The idea was spawned from a recent inspection of the park’s bandstand by city officials.

Public Works Director Larry Driscoll told a Rotary committee formed to look at the possibility of rehabbing the 10-year old structure, that termites have gotten a good hold on the substructure of the ornate bandstand.

“They probably should have used a “green” wood that was treated to repel the termites, but they went with a different wood and there is a lot of damage in there,” he said.

When the committee started looking at the cost to drill out the timbers and reinforce them with metal, a repair that Driscoll said would be cheaper than replacing the whole substructure, they started looking at other repairs needed.

Additional funding needs for the park include $6,000 to $8,000 for repainting the structure, $30,000 for new lights in the park, and at least $12,000 to refurbish the Statue of Liberty, as well as other upkeep, the committee decided to look at the all the repairs together.

The committee is still looking at how the fundraising will take place, but options could include submitting a check or donating through an online donation site. However, the group is working to make the deductions tax deductible.

Rotary President-elect Heather Huebner said details supporting the event will be available soon.

The Picnic in the Park will be the final day of the 100-day campaign, which will kick off today and run through June 23.

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