BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON - The community has come together to put up a new press box at Richmond Stadium overlooking Youel Field. There's also a new scoreboard courtesy of Connection Bank, Lee County Bank, Pilot Grove Savings Bank and Mohrfeld Electric.
New goal posts were put in, and Head Coach Derek Doherty is building a new-look Bloodhound football team that made the playoffs in 2020.
Now Fort Madison Football, Inc. wants to spruce up the stadium, but they need help from the community and former Bloodhounds.
Tara Johnson, a board member with the organization that provides funding and support for programs that enhance Fort Madison's football program, said the stadium just isn't in a condition that's reflective of the resurgence of the Fort Madison's athletic programs.
The organization isn't associated with the school district in any way, but helps prop up facility and equipment needs through it's fundraising arm. The group's annual golf outing is this Friday.
"We do all the fundraising for the football and we put everything back into it. We're just kinda looking for some outside help," Johnson said.
"Typically, you keep going back to the same people and I guess that's the way it is, but we're really trying to reach some former Fort Madison students and alumni to help support this effort."
So the group set up a Go Fund Me page at https://gofund.me/51705544. All donations are tax deductible and Fort Madison Football Inc. is a non-profit organization.
Johnson said the home side grand stands need to be cleaned and repainted, fencing needs to be repaired and cement needs to be cleaned, painted and resealed. She said they would also like to have all the railings repainted depending on the amount of funds that can be raised.
"It just looks bad and it's not a good representation of our town," she said. "Even the kids not playing shouldn't have to sit in stands that are in that bad of shape, nor should the community."
According to the Go Fund Me page, "Fort Madison Football Inc, is looking to start a stadium improvement campaign to help get our facility back to something our student athletes, and our community can be proud of. Fort Madison Football, and many other organizations utilize the High School facility such as, Relay for Life, FMCSD Band competitions, and FMCSD track meets, to name a few.
"We come to you, humbly, asking for your generosity as we continue to strive for excellence within our organization. Your donations will go directly back into our program to work on projects such as, removing the old paint and providing fresh paint on the bleachers, railings, and exteriors. We will also be repairing crumbling cement, as well as replacing the old fencing with new, at the Fort Madison High School's Richmond Stadium. These are just a few projects we are trying to tackle to get our stadium to a more cosmetically appealing and structurally sound facility."
For those who would rather donate via the postal service, donations can be sent to Fort Madison Football Inc., P.O. Box 342, Fort Madison, IA 52627.
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