BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A group of youngsters sang beyond their age while the community enjoyed grilled food and sides, root beer floats and dance troops as part of the 2019 Picnic in the Park put on the Fort Madison Rotary Club Sunday night.
The picnic is held in Central Park every year in July with funds raised from the event going to help sponsor the City Band in the park as well as maintenance and upkeep of the park.
Power Chords, a group of local youth belted out rock tunes dating back to the 80s as community residents looked on in with pride. The group eventually gave way to Top Hatters dance students who entertained the group until the picnic ended at 7 p.m.
This year’s event leads into the Rotary Clubs 100 years of existence and triggered a $100K in 100 days capital fundraiser to put money in to the park’s maintenance fund.
Rotary officials said at last count they were at about $70,000 but recent donations and the goodwill offerings hadn’t been included. A grant from Rotary International has also been applied for with the hopes that the club can get a little closer to the goal.
This year’s fundraising was more important as city officials found termite damage to the band shell. Those repairs to the shell including repainting will cost close to $20,000. The club would also like to put new lights in the park at a $30,000 price tag as well as refurbish the Statue of Liberty replica at a projected cost of $12,000. The rest of the money would be held for ongoing maintenance and repairs.
The event was originally scheduled for June 23rd but was cancelled due to inclement weather and was rescheduled for Sunday night.