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$100K grant awarded to Veterans Memorial Coliseum Fund

T-R FILE PHOTO Most of the Veteran Memorial Coliseum’s roof was lifted off by the July 19, 2018 tornado. Some sections were deposited on nearby city hall’s roof.

Local fundraising got a $100,000 boost on Tuesday.

The Iowa Native Fund awarded the money to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Fund.

The award means $87,000 needs to be raised to reach the $1.35 million fundraising goal of the total projected costs of $3.6 million.

The Native Fund was established by actor Ashton Kutcher of Cedar Rapids, and former University of Iowa and National Football League player Dallas Clark, of Bode.

“A grant of this amount is completely unexpected and could help us meet our goal much sooner than expected,” Geoff Hubbard, Marshalltown Parks and Recreation director and member of the fundraising committee said. “We are so thankful to the INF, especially considering devastation to the VMC following the July 2018 tornado.”

Fundraising committee member Mike Gowdy of Marshalltown was equally ecstatic.

“The entire fundraising committee is elated,” Gowdy said. “The $100,000 is a huge surprise. We had heard we would be receiving an undetermined amount. I take my hat off to Kutcher and Clark, two Iowans, for their generosity. It is a great boost to our fundraising efforts.”

Committee member Steve Storjohann echoed Gowdy’s remarks.

“This is wonderful news,” Storjohann said. “When Jessica Kinser informed me I was speechless. We are almost to the goal.”

The announcement came on Giving Tuesday, which is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. The Coliseum Fundraising Committee is asking that donors think of the renovation as a way to give in the future. Online donations can be made at www.mtowncoliseum.com or by sending a check to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Fund, 24 North Center St., Marshalltown. All donations are tax deductible.

Foundation/Grant success

The fundraising committee aggressively pursued Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation (METF) funds and

from entities such as the INF.

Large corporations, such as Casey’s General Stores, Hy-Vee Inc. and Wellmark were targeted

and responded

In April, the METF – awarded the committee a $400,000 challenge grant, meaning it would award $400,000 if the committee raised an equal amount.

“Once again the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation is the champion for promoting projects to improve our community, Mayor Joel Greer said.

In 2017 METF also awarded $25,000 to a Parks and Recreation-sponsored fact-finding committee for the preparation of cost estimates and preliminary plans.

VMC History

Construction began in 1928 and was completed in 1929, according to Times-Republican

archives.

The facility was dedicated March 15, 1929 to Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I veterans.

The VMC was re-dedicated to all veterans on Nov. 11, 2009, during its 80th

anniversary.

The building has served a number of functions during its 90-year history, including use as

training quarters for the Iowa National Guard prior to World War II.

The local American Legion Post once used it as a regular meeting place, the facility

hosted numerous Marshalltown Community College and Marshalltown High School basketball

games.

Residents have rented the building for dances, sports and social events.

Parks and Recreation manages the facility with the help of a volunteer board of directors

Two veterans are members.

Many Parks and Recreation fitness programs were utilized at VMC by hundreds of Marshalltown residents pre-tornado.

For more information visit www.mtowncoliseum.com.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 of mdonahey@timesrepublican.com