Marshalltown Proud about Marshalltown Strong

My friends and family will verify that I am fond of bragging about quite a few things about Marshalltown, but especially about one thing really stands out: when you have a good idea, and get the right people to promote it, generous contributions will follow.

Most recently, it has been protective vests, security cameras, Crimestoppers, MEGA-10 Park, Iowa River Rec Trail, the futsal courts, the state of the art surgical and wound center and the Roundhouse, which is already the state’s largest high school gym but is now experiencing Phase II building. Before that, such ideas included building our national award-winning library, the Iowa River Hospice Home, the Grimes Farm Conservation Center (and recently its amphitheater), the trail to Melbourne, Orpheum Theater and the Y with the largest pool seating capacity in the state. Good ideas. Right people. Generous contributions. And Marshalltown has other new gems.

After the July 19 tornado, however, the focus has shifted to repairs, rebuilding, replacement housing and reaching out to those most affected. Several of our backbone industries immediately stepped up, big time, to say they are here to stay, to get workers back to work and to make really significant financial contributions to the rebuild efforts and to help the most affected.

So, now is the time to encourage generous donors to know that even if we qualify for FEMA help, which we may not, we need good ideas and good people to help distribute funds collected and to manage the planning that is required after a disaster like this, and, of course, to make the generous contributions this time to rebuild all of Marshalltown — not just downtown — and to keep and help those most severely affected.

Mayors in other places hit by such tragedies, tornados and floods, have reached out to me and predicted that we, too, will end up with a better place to live and work. But we need the same collaboration, Marshalltown Strong spirit, to both get it done, and to get it done right.

Our new ideas and improvements won’t stop while we rebuild, evidenced by the new Sixth Street apartment construction where Crosby Pool was, and the renovation of the bowling alley into Wayward Social, each to be connected to the American Legion and both recreational trails. But we really need to regroup and fundraise and continue to collaborate among ourselves and with outside experts about how to capitalize on this once in a lifetime opportunity to take tragedy into triumph.

You may have money or ideas or energy to contribute. Now is the time!