HERO donors lead the way in Webster Theater project

To the Editor:

All capital campaigns start with leaders in giving as an important part of the overall campaign. These gifts provide the initial momentum needed to get the campaign off the ground and running. The local Help Entertain and Restore Organization (HERO) Campaign is no different.

As of the end of June over $168,000 has been raised from our local community for the HERO Campaign which is about 70 per cent of the total goal. A handful of community members, businesses and the Hotel/Motel Board have stepped forward to lead the way by donating one out of every three dollars of all funds raised. Those gifts of between $5,000 and $10,000 provided the momentum needed to complete Phase 1, the purchase of the theater and a large part of Phase 2, the purchase of the equipment.

The Hotel and Motel Tax Grant, which are taxes raised from people who stay at hotels and motels in Webster City, provided initial funding for the HERO campaign and important public support. The Hotel/Motel Tax Grant has given $10,000 to help purchase the building and another $25,000 to bring the marquee back to piece of art it originally was.

Each and every donor has their own reason for becoming involved in any campaign. This is true for those who lead the HERO campaign with their donations.

Bob and Mary Van Diest think it is important we that we have a movie theater in Webster City. According to Bob Van Diest a movie theater is something people of all ages can enjoy though it is probably more important to the junior high and senior high students. When Bob was a kid growing up in Webster City he enjoyed going to the theater. He thinks people in the Webster City area deserve to have an up to date movie theater and he and Mary are happy to see our community supporting the theater project.

Dennis and Colleen Tasler always enjoyed attending the theater. They thought it was wonderful the theater would be open again and it would be good for the community. Both Dennis and Colleen are very appreciative of all the volunteers and the work they are doing to make this possible. Jim and Judy Bergkamp’s son worked for Art Downard at the theater while in school. His experience at the Webster City Theater lead him to go on to a career managing theaters for many years. Jim and Judy when talking about the theater often refer to is as “my theater” a common sense of ownership among many donors to HERO.

Community Banks are an important part of the HERO Campaign lead gifts. Kim Peck, Marketing Manager for First State Bank said that First State Bank takes pride in the community and is passionate about efforts to enhance the community. According to Kim the theater was a part of the community as long as she could remember and First State is glad to be a part of bringing it back.

According to Scott Bargfrede, President of First American Bank, First American has an ongoing interest in projects that enhance the community. They see the Theater renovation and remodeling as providing a better quality of life for everyone in Webster City. Richard Stark and First American Bank are happy to be a part of this project and look forward to many years of movie going here in Webster City.

Kyle Swon, Senior Vice President, Webster City Federal Savings Bank, said it only takes one employee to get everyone engaged. Barb Kaye, who works in Loan Servicing, got her co- workers engaged and they put together a number of promotions to raise money for HERO that were matched by the Webster City Federal. Kyle believed it was a way for many who could give five’s and ten’s to be involved and put their money together to make a greater difference.

The HERO Board of Directors wants to thank all the donors who have helped the campaign so far with a special thank you to all those who showed the leadership that helped the campaign get off the ground in the early stages. Deb Brown, Webster City Chamber Director and volunteer at HERO, said she wanted to encourage everyone to support the campaign through their donations as the HERO campaign continues working to meet its goal. Every donation, large or small, matters. This is a grass roots effort and we are very excited to be able to go to the movies in 2014.

For more information contact: HERO at (515)832-MOVI.

HERO?Board of Directors

Webster City