Fundraising continues $480,213 granted to Wave of the Future project

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Attending the May Enhance Iowa board meeting in Urbandale were, from left, Deb Moser, Katy Geuder, Molly Moser, Norma Thiese and Debbie Eulberg. Not pictured is MJ Smith. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

The Wave of the Future project for Guttenberg’s new swimming pool was awarded a grant in the amount of $480,213 from the Enhance Iowa board’s Community Attractions and Tourism program (EICAT) on Wednesday, July 11, at the Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls. 

The project’s grant-writing team of Molly Moser, Peg Thein and Norma Thiese submitted an extensive grant application early this spring and were invited to present to the EICAT board in May. The board’s funding was limited at that time as the end of the fiscal year approached; thus the Wave of the Future was invited to return to the July board meeting after the start of the 2018-19 fiscal year. 

The May presentation was supported by testimony from 11-year-old Katy Geuder of Guttenberg. “I learned to swim at the Guttenberg pool. When I was in the last level, the managers had me dive down to the bottom of the 13-foot, and it was really important to me that I completed that challenge. Someday I would like to become a lifeguard,” she told EICAT board members. “Kids like to go to the pool during the summer and create memories and friendships. They learn to swim there, and we need to learn to swim there since we’re right on the river and a lot of townspeople go boating. I live right across the street from the pool, and I use it about every afternoon and night.”

EICAT board members expressed many positive sentiments for the Wave of the Future project and were especially impressed by the amount of community support and involvement. At the time of the May presentation, the grant-writing team reported 22 local fundraisers bringing in a total of $92,080.65. To date, more than 350 private individuals have made contributions totaling over $730,000; and more than 40 private businesses have donated over $150,000.

The EICAT funds bring the total grant dollars awarded to the project to $582,013; cash gifts and pledges are at approximately $911,000 for a total amount of approximately $1.493 million raised, exceeding the Wave of the Future committee’s capital campaign goal of $1.2 million. Total project cost is $4.057 million. A successful March referendum would allow the city to issue up to $2.8 million in bonds for the project; presently no more than $2.564 million would be required. 

The Wave of the Future committee remains committed to fund-raising in order to continue lowering the amount needed from the bond issue. The grant-writing team is currently pursuing additional projects that could bring in supplementary funds of up to $100,000 if received.

“All future gifts, grants, and in-kind donations will offset the final bond total and save money for our taxpayers, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those inputs,” said Wave of the Future committee member MJ Smith. 

“We are extremely grateful to the EICAT board for seeing the value in our project and for all that they provide to projects like ours throughout the state,” said Wave of the Future grant writers. The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 35 CAT awards have been granted by the board, totaling $11,707,902.

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