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Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation making progress

FAIRMONT– Members of the Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation have been busy doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work since it was formed in September. People can soon expect to see members and more materials out in the community.

The Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation includes John Edman, John Kasper, Fred Kramer, Karin Rosen and Amy Long, who said its purse is two fold.

“We’re overseeing the capital campaign efforts for the Fairmont Area Community Center. We’re also overseeing the agreements and operations specific to the YMCA.”

Long pointed out that the fact that the Foundation has been established is a huge step in making the project a reality.

“Having representation on the Foundation from our key anchor donors, the Rosen family and Krahmer family, is also a huge step and shows how invested the Foundation is in this project,” Long said.

Kasper said there’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes action going on over the last few months.

“Becoming a formal legal non-profit doesn’t happen over night,” Long said with a laugh.

“It’s the exciting part. It’s right before we start to get public with everything. It’s coming to fruition. We’re having outstanding conversations with the YMCA,” said Kasper.

He said they’ve been thinking about the capital campaign, how they’re going to market the project, who they’ll start talking to and the materials that go with it.

Long added that they’re also thinking about what the key messages are and how they want to educate and partner with community members, especially since it’s been such a long-standing project.

“There’s varying degrees of understanding what the project entails, what the city does, what the Foundation does and what type of organization the YMCA even is,” Long explained.

Kasper said the YMCA is excited about the project as well. He shared that they’re working with the YMCA out of Albert Lea, but also other regional and national representatives.

“They’ve done this. They’re a 160 year-old organization. They know what to do. They really like to work with the community to identify what’s necessary and what programming is needed,” Kasper said.

The Foundation has been getting out into the community and Long said they plan to give presentations to different service clubs and organizations that want to know more about the project.

It’s also been working with the Community Center Advisory Board and the Capital Campaign Committee, which is a standing committee of the Foundation that’s made up of about a dozen community members who are working on advertising and marketing efforts. That committee was recently in the Fairmont Glows Parade.

The Foundation has also worked to create pledge forms, which are available on the website, FairmontCommunityCenter.org, and physical folders with information and a pledge form, which are available at Graffiti Corner in Fairmont.

“We’re in the process of getting online donation up which will be a tremendous tool to have,” Kasper said.

Available in the folders and online is a structure document which explains what each different group, including the city, YMCA, Hockey Association and Foundation, is responsible for.

“The Foundation is super excited about this project. We encourage community members to learn more about it and reach out to us. If they’re supporters of the project, help us spread the message regarding all of the benefits the community center can bring to us now, but also to future generations of this community,” Long said.

Kasper added, “There’s a host of benefits in terms of what the Y does and what a community center brings to the area. It’s everything from retaining and attracting businesses and employees, programs for kids and adults.”

He also talked about what the project could do to energize the city.

“When you look at Fairmont, it’s a hidden gem. The opportunity to bring a facility like this to this town will really help energize the community.”

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