Yacht Club donation supports Friends of Pikes Peak State Park

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The McGregor Upper Mississippi Boat and Yacht Club held its annual summer party and fundraiser July 28, at Backwoods Bar and Grill, in McGregor. Nearly 50 members attended this year’s event, which raised over $2,000 for the Friends of Pikes Peak State Park.

The past year’s commodore, Jerome Full, was tasked with selecting a beneficiary. An avid biker, Full is familiar with the Pikes Peak area and knew the damage last year’s tornado had done to the park.

“It’s such a vital part of our area,” he said, “so I thought this would be a good time to give it an oomph.”

Pikes Peak Park Manager Matt Tschirgi, who also spoke at the event, said the funds will be put toward the purchase of another utility vehicle for the park. This donation will be paired with funds the Friends of Pikes Peak State Park have been raising through the park concession stand and by selling firewood, he noted.

“We have one vehicle now,” Tschirgi said, “but many times we could use two or three.”

He said the utility vehicle could be used for a variety of activities, including trail and resource management, prescribed burns, tree planting and search and rescue operations.

“We’re grateful for the donation,” Tschirgi added. “It will be put to good use.”

The McGregor Upper Mississippi Boat and Yacht Club has operated since 1951 and supported many community projects. Some of the items that were auctioned off this year to raise the funds for the Pikes Peak friends group included several framed prints, a blue ceramic plaque with a Mississippi River theme, some large bags of nautical-themed goodies and wine, a huge pot of zinnias in full bloom, a Stephen Ambrose book on the Mississippi River, an antique framed railroad map of Iowa (c. 1910), a solar-powered yard ornament and an antique 1880s Chinese vase.

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