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Wellness Talk: Committee in final phase of fundraising

By Michael Craig, Wadena Wellness Center Fundraising Committee

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these columns. Now that I have two new knees, we’re back at it, trying to finish the fundraising efforts for the new wellness center.

We’re in the final phase of fundraising, and we would like to reach as many people as possible. A number of people have said, “But nobody has contacted me.” Well, I’m contacting you now.

We have received a number of questions about the fact that the pledge form states that contributions should be sent to the “Initiative Foundation” in Little Falls. The Initiative Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) charitable organization that is acting as our fiscal agent with this project. They set up the individual accounts for each contributor, provide tax reporting and forward the money to the City of Wadena for use on the project. If you are not comfortable mailing pledges to the Initiative Foundation, you can give them to any member of the committee and they will make sure it is processed correctly.

If you have any interest in making a pledge to the cause, now is the time to come forward. In addition to me, fundraising committee members are Jeff Browne, Don Niles, Luther Nervig, Duane Moore, Sam Phillips, John Paulson, Lori Gress, Joel Beiswenger and Doug Adams. Any one of these individuals would be happy to talk to you, explain where things are at and get you a pledge form.

Unfortunately we get spread pretty thin sometimes, so don’t be bashful about contacting us. My office number is 218-631-4096, if you would like more information.

As I write this, we have raised approximately $10.7 million. Our original goal was $11 million. If we surpass this, there are still a number of enhancements on the table, such as a whirlpool, a bigger running/walking track and more gym space.

We have about five weeks to go. Remember, all we’re asking for is a pledge. It may be that it is more convenient to make a payment at a later date. Pledges can be made over a three-year period.

Under the new tax law, individuals over age 70-and-a-half can again give charitable contributions directly from their IRA to charity without having the distribution count against their adjusted gross income. This is an absolutely great way to distribute IRA funds (it can count toward your required minimum distribution), help charities and help you save income taxes!

Those of us on the committee would be happy to provide you with more details on how this would work.

We had a little delay in the planning, as our architectural firm laid off the two architects working on our project. The city has now signed a new contract with these same two architects, who have started their own firm. Our target date for a ground breaking is Sept. 1.