FAIRMONT - The fundraising effort for the Fairmont Area Dog Park got a recent boost that put the initial goal of $15,000 within reach.
"On Friday, July 4, we bumped our donation level from $6,200 to over $11,000. We received a $4,000 donation," said Beth Haskins, president of the dog park committee. "It was a personal donation from Sheree Grimm of Fairmont."
Haskins recalled Grimm approaching the dog park booth at Market Square at Heritage Acres, with her request to make a $1,000 donation to be specifically earmarked for fencing. When Haskins explained that all the money went into a general fund, Grimm accepted that and offered another $1,000 if a memorial plaque could be put on a bench.
"She had to put down her hearing dog, Oreo, a couple of years ago," Haskins said, and Grimm, who is hearing impaired, wanted to memorialize her faithful companion.
Haskins guaranteed the memorial plaque, and Grimm offered a third $1,000 gift for a baggie receptacle for cleaning up after the dogs.
Haskins was in shock when Grimm threw in an additional $1,000 "to do whatever you want with."
The $4,000 donation was dropped off Monday at the Public Utilities counter at Fairmont City Hall, which accepts donations for the dog park.
Grimm's generosity brought the total raised on July 4 to $4,830.65.
"We're on our final push," Haskins said.
The committee has been working with city staff to bring the dog park to fruition since October. Two quotes for fencing have been obtained, both in the $15,000 range. The committee also has researched odor control, at the request of city staff, by contacting city staff in New Ulm, Mankato and St. Peter, where there are similar dog parks. Those three entities reported no odor issues.
The Fairmont Park Board has recommended that the dog park be located on city-owned land near the aquatic park, but no official decision has been made.
"To reach our goal, we need another $4,000," Haskins said. "This is an opportunity for people in the community or businesses to rise to the occasion and shine by helping us reach our goal of $15,000 by the end of the summer."
For more information on the dog park, email firstname.lastname@example.org