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Northwest Salmon



Fundraising for new potential athletic complex sporting well

by Emre K. Erku

Although the decision to green light construction for Webster’s new athletic complex project is scheduled for Monday’s school board meeting at 7 p.m., the Webster Area Sporting Complex Organization has already welcomed more than $300,000 in committed donations from around the community.

“People have been really receptive to it,” said Jerry Somsen, organization member. “The vast majority (of commitments) are covered in five years.”

With anywhere from five to eight volunteers helping the organization, aspects such as creating new designs for an eight lane track and accumulating donations are well-covered. Such designs include where the track turns, bleacher placements and what makes the most financial sense. With all the base bids exceeding $1.5 million, financial sensitivity is a must.

“Our magical number is $400,000,” Somsen explained, reavealing the organization’s set goal for raising funds. “But we feel like our goal is always working on upgrades to the facility.”

Somsen explained that the organization wants to ensure that the complex will always be equipped with proper and up-to-date amenities. With that, if the project does get approved and once construction is done, the fundraising will always continue.

Again, if approved, one of the major goals is to host between four and five track meets a season – this may include hosting night events, as well. But, Somsen continued, the complex won’t be limited to high school athletes. In the past, the grounds were closed off from the public. Now it won’t be.

Said Somsen: “That’s why we’re asking people to get involved. We want it to be more than just a high school facility.”

Another positive incentive will be the potential economic impact the project will provide for the area. Although it may not attract astronomical numbers in new families moving to the community, it may help entice people from moving elsewhere.

“If you look around the corner, we’re the only place around that doesn’t have it (new complex),” said Somsen. “You know, as people look into moving to a new community, it plays a big part.”

And it will reflect positively on the community’s students.

“To me,” Somsen continued, “education and extra-curricular activities go hand-in-hand. It teaches teamwork, so it’s improtant to have the facilities to do that.”

To the organization, it’s one of the last major pieces that will help accredit the city of Webster, and for those who donate, their names will be commemorated on plaques around the complex.

“The school board has been doing their due diligence, and we’ve been working with them along the way to make this as good a facility as we possibly can for years to come,” said Somsen. “We’re looking to reach out to people, but if they’re willing to reach out to us, we’ll be more than grateful.”

If approved and completed, Somsen agreed that, whoever gets the opportunity, it’d be nice to pull trigger for the first race.

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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