With this lofty goal in mind, a series of fund-raisers ensued. A wide variety of them were held those first three years.
2006 was eventful for the Park. The Historic Preservation Commission presented us with the Historic Preservation Week Award as the top "historic place." MRHD grant announcements followed, and we received $10,000 for a major upgrade of the Park's lighting system. As one of the designated charities working for Awesome Biker Nights, we netted a check for $5,505. September brought the 4th Annual "Art in the Park" and a Leisure Services Grant from the City of Sioux City for picnic table replacement.
2007 saw many more activities -- a new membership drive, an All America Band Concert, more picnic tables through Leisure Services, and the Morningside Lodge #615 held a July 4th benefit pancake breakfast for us. Our second Awesome Biker Nights June poker run & raffle ticket sales went very well, and in August, the Awesome Board presented us with a check for $5,615, which will help grow our endowment fund. The northeast garden was redesigned, and another successful "Art in the Park" went into the books.
It was again a busy year in 2008 -- a $750 Junior League grant, matched by Scott Ohlfest, took care of the cleaning & tuckpointing of the brick gazebo; a MRHD grant for $10,000 enabled us to start on our long-awaited underground sprinkler system; the 2nd Annual Morningside Lodge Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast netted almost $900; we worked the Awesome Biker Nights June poker run and ended July with a $3700 check for those efforts. July 31st was the last day on the job for caretakers Bill & Dawn Tope, who had beautified the Park for eight years. The Homebuilders Association and WIT construction class rebuilt the back porch on the house; Carter Gardner trimmed trees; Coughlin Landscaping worked on beds, grounds & trees, installed flagstone paths & moved benches; and our 6th annual "Art in the Park" was held on a beautiful September day.
2009 had lots of activities booked -- WEDDINGS, WEDDINGS, WEDDINGS. The underground sprinkler system saw completion, the 3rd Annual Morningside Lodge #615 July 4th Pancake Breakfast was well attended, bringing in over $1000, a new caretaker arrived, and September's "Art in the Park" was very well sponsored and attended, netting the Park over $4000. This 2009 event was our first judged art show -- a definite upgrade for the artists -- and very well received.
Year 2010 started off with the All-America Concert Band presenting a fund-raiser concert for us in April, new Gerkin replacement windows were installed in Clara's house by Guarantee Roofing, we purchased a new commercial-grade mower, outdoor restroom and electrical upgrades were made, another Independence Day pancake breakfast went into the books, and our 8th Annual "Art in the Park" was held in spite of the rain. Our big improvement project for the year was a complete update of the kitchen in the house, which was funded by grants -- $10,000 from MRHD and $5,000 from the Siouxland Community Foundation -- and our other annual fundraisers.
The year 2011 projects included repairs to the brick gazebo, plaster & lighting repairs to the house interior, the purchase of much needed grounds equipment, and the development of a new meditation maze in the southwest corner of the park, which was an Eagle Scout project. Our 5th Annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast was enjoyed by all who attended, as was the WIT Lifelong Learning evening concert by the Langleys. The popular Siouxland Barbershop Concert returned in August, while "Art in the Park" made its 9th annual run in September.
The 10th year of our organization, season 2012, is now history. The house's main floor powder room is fully functional, we have new sidewalk concrete at the back of the house, and the fountain underwent some plumbing upgrades. Our 6th Annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast, sponsored by Morningside Lodge #615, was a huge success due to added publicity from the S.C. Journal; it netted us more than $2000. WIT's Lifelong Learning evening concert by the Langleys and the popular Siouxland Barbershop Concert provided our musical highlights again this year. The park was full of artists & shoppers on a sunny, cool September day as "Art in the Park" made its 10th annual appearance amidst much fanfare.
In 2013 several Park fundraisers took us closer to our house painting goal. We have added many new and valuable volunteers; three dead trees have been removed. The 7th Annual Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast, sponsored by Morningside Lodge #615, was very successful, again netting us more than $2000. Wonderful news -- we have received a grant that allows us to move one huge project into our current timetable -- see the "Bulletin Board" below. The annual barbershop concert saw its biggest crowd ever, and the 11th Annual Art in the Park was well attended on a perfect day, which showcased several new artists. Winning artists were:Jess Elofson - Best of Show
J. Mark Lay - Award of Excellence
Rhonda Wittkop - Award of Excellence
If anyone has ideas for 2014 Park fundraisers or wants to sponsor a Park improvement project, please contact us. Our current priority is to repaint the house exterior. Please stay tuned for other ongoing news!