Funding nearing goal for Marion park improvements

Todd Heitschmidt, president of Marion Advancement Campaign, shows a model that closely represents what the stage, entertainment pavilion and restrooms would look like when completed. The cost for this first phase is $105,000, and thus far $90,000 has been either pledged or donated. Patty Decker / Free PressAfter almost two years of fundraising, the Central Park Improvement Campaign has almost reached its goal of $105,000 for the stage, entertainment pavilion and restroom replacement.

Todd Heitschmidt, president of the Marion Advancement Campaign Inc., said $15,000 is all that remains to begin Phase I of the project.

?We have raised or received pledges of $90,000 to date and $15,000 will finish at least the first phase,? he said.

Some people, he said, have talked about a roof structure over the stage, and depending on donated supplies and donated labor, there could be enough money to do that.

The performing stage, according to information presented in June by Roger Holter, city administrator, would have an aluminum strut structure.

In late June at the Marion Chamber of Commerce meeting, Heitschmidt showed a miniature model of what the structure would look like.

?The actual size of the stone stage in front of the restroom building would be 40-feet by 12-feet and two feet off the ground,? he said.

?The building will go back further south, and no trees will be cut down. It will be 26-feet long. ?

The park restroom, Heitschmidt explained, would be a year round facility, and in order to tie in with all community activities, the billboards around it would be reserved for the anniversary class for Old Settler?s Day.

Anticipating the building being completed by Chingawassa Days in 2015, would mean the classes highlighted would include 1965, 1975, 1985 and 1995.

As for the current building, Heitschmidt said it would be removed, and either moved to another park location, auctioned off or used for storage.

?We haven?t discussed all the options or decided on what to with it yet,? he said.

Without the help of so many individuals, businesses and organizations, Heitschmidt said MAC couldn?t have gotten this far.

?We owe a huge amount of gratitude to those who have already stepped up and written checks or pledged,? he said.

Donations came large and small, he added.

?We had people buying cinnamon rolls at Old Settler?s Day as part of the fundraising effort all the way up to large individual and corporate contributions,? he said.

Anyone who would like to make a donation before the end of 2014, he said, should consult their tax advisor for the deductibility of their contribution.

?We are very close,? he said. ?Would you help our fundraising goal of $15,000 by Dec. 31?

For more information, call Heitschmidt at 620-382-5600 or email him at:

Donations may also be sent to MAC, P.O. Box 256, Marion, KS 66851.

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