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Community Center gets new aid

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Area Community Center has received a big boost. According to information provided by the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont, the Rosen family, Krahmer family, and MCHS have partnered to pledge $4.5 million in initial private funding to kick off the capital campaign for the construction and operation of the proposed community center.

The donations will be directed to a newly established community center nonprofit foundation. These initial donor pledges are contingent on the construction of the community center, and they focus on supporting YMCA operations.

Amy Long, administrator at MCHS in Fairmont and Community Center committee member, said that the partnership has been a long time in the making.

“The Community Center committee efforts date back prior to 2017, and MCHS has always had a presence in the effort,” she said. “This is something that we at Mayo want to support, as a large employer and also as a healthcare provider. We want to see our community continue to thrive, and we’re committed to improving the quality of life.

“The Community Center has plenty of different programming opportunities and those are focused on community vitality and also health and wellness. So this is a natural partnership for us.

“We’re excited to play a meaningful role in establishing this community center. It is much needed for Fairmont and the surrounding area.”

The Rosen Family has pledged $3 million, with $2 million earmarked for construction contributions and $1 million as matching funds for public donations to the community center. The Krahmer Family has pledged $1 million for a combination of construction costs and creating an operating fund focused on pool programs and operations, particularly inclusive programming, such as swimming lessons for all ages. MCHS has pledged $500,000 for construction contributions and donated the land, valued at an estimated $220,400, where the facility will be located.

Fred Krahmer was also available to share his thoughts on the importance of the community center.

“I think it’s really important that this cooperative effort between the City of Fairmont, as a governmental agency, and the private donors can work together can work together to make a facility that really does benefit all of the citizens of our county, not just the city, from the youth for swimming and track all the way to older folks who will have a place to get together and really be the community that we can be,” he said. “I’m just thrilled that this is a cooperative effort, that there’s a private donation support base that’s starting. I know there are some issues ahead of us that we still need to resolve, but I’m hopeful we can get there with support from all sides.”

The vision for the Fairmont Area Community Center includes a YMCA, which will have a fieldhouse, gymnasium, track, indoor aquatic center, community rooms, group fitness and exercise studios, and various programming opportunities. An ice arena is also planned that will be supported and operated by the Fairmont Hockey Association. It’s envisioned that the YMCA and the association will collaborate to operate the Fairmont Area Community Center.

“As the largest employer in Fairmont, we are committed to seeing Fairmont thrive, and we are doing our part to improve the health and wellness of our community members,” said James Hebl, M.D., regional vice president, Southwest Minnesota, Mayo Clinic Health System. “We are excited to help provide this wonderful resource in Fairmont.”

In addition to the gifts from the Rosens, Krahmers, and MCHS, the city of Fairmont has committed $14 million toward construction, using proceeds from a local sales tax.

“The donors hope these pledges keep the project moving forward while also jump-starting the larger fundraising campaign needed to support construction of the facility,” says Brandon Edmundson, chair of the community center committee. “We’re all excited to collaborate with other local donors, using the newly formed foundation to manage donations during the fundraising campaign.”

Private funding is still needed for the project. To leave a lasting, positive legacy and provide a valuable resource to community members of all ages, consider contributing to the Fairmont Area Community Center campaign by visiting the Fairmont Area Community Center website.

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