Businesses make donations for pool, gym
Local businesses and banks are beginning to step forward to make private contributions for a new outdoor pool and indoor recreation facility in Fairfield, just weeks after citizens voted in favor of issuing $3 million in general obligation bonds for the project in the November general election.
With an estimated budget of $10 million, the community recreation project fundraising committee has already secured $1,367,850 in private pledges and donations.
“The pledges have exceeded my expectations and in most cases what we have asked for,” said finance and fundraising subcommittee chairwoman Jodi Kerr. “It’s a good sign of what is to come and of the generosity of the community. It’s very encouraging and indicative of the high passage rate [68 percent] of the bond referendum.”
Kerr said the finance subcommittee, consisting of 8-10 community members, began approaching the town’s largest employers and banks after the bond passed to seek private donations.
The committee developed a presentation based upon information presented to the public at a Fairfield City Council meeting this fall, said Kerr.
“We explain the basics of the project and the impact it will have on the community,” she said. “A lot of employers are finding that offering more amenities makes it a little bit easier to attract or retain a workforce.”
She said the facilities could boost enrollment in the school district and its athletics programs, and could open “the untapped potential of hosting youth tournaments and the economic impact that might have.”
First National Bank in Fairfield pledged $150,000 in response to the committee’s presentation. Bank president Pat Hurley and chairman of the board Craig Foss presented a check for $75,000 of the pledge to committee members Dan Breen and Kerr Tuesday.
“First National Bank is pleased to be able to present this check in support of the community recreation project,” said Hurley. “This is a very important community infrastructure project providing another asset that will help Fairfield grow. Supporting this project is one more way First National Bank continues our tradition of strong support for the Fairfield community.”
Kerr said the committee aims to raise at least 95 percent of the total by April. The finance subcommittee is still in the process of presenting to larger organizations, and Kerr said some contacts are pending.
“We’re waiting to hear back form some of them while they discuss with their various boards how they can contribute financially,” she said.
Kerr said the committee will soon turn to recruiting individual contributions.
“We’re working on how to move forward with approaching a mass contact,” she said.
During the past year, prospective donors expressed enthusiasm for one of the facilities over the other, said Kerr, but donations thus far have been for the project in its entirety.
“We are grateful for this donation and the support it demonstrates for this project,” said Kerr. “The generosity of the area businesses and individuals will be vital to our fundraising efforts.”