A new destination playground at Sunset Beach is getting closer to being a reality in 2016, with the help of a surge of donations at the end of 2015. Donations to the Friends of Lake Panorama in support of the new playground now stand at $55,000.
The first $30,000 was raised in late 2014 and through August of 2015. In mid-November, a special mailing to LPA members announced the Friends nonprofit is working to raise an additional $50,000. The Lake Panorama Association board has pledged to match that amount if the money is raised no later than August 1, 2016.
So far, the November mailing has brought in about $25,000, with 85 different donors making contributions to the playground. About a dozen of those made playground donations in both 2014 and 2015. The largest donors to date are Dan and Melissa Pflieger, who gave $10,000 over a two-year period.
Kirk Fischer, president of the Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors, encourages donors to make a 2016 tax-deductible contribution now so the playground can be installed in 2016.
“We know people often wait until the end of the year to make their charitable contributions,” Fischer says. “We also know those who have already donated want to see it completed as soon as possible. So we’re asking past donors to make another tax-deductible donation this spring. And we’re asking new donors to join existing donors to help us raise the final $25,000.”
While donations of all sizes are welcome, only donors of $500 or more are recognized on the Friends website. In addition, a sign listing these larger donors will be erected near the playground.
Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All contributions are tax deductible, and all donors receive a letter of thanks as their receipt. The Friends nonprofit is separate from the Lake Panorama Association, and has a goal of improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama.
The main playground structure includes multiple slides, bridges and climbing opportunities. Several smaller structures surround the main area, including hop rocks, bongo stumps, and modern takes on the old-fashioned merry-go-round and teeter-totter.
Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. For donations by check, the mailing included a form that can be completed and returned with a check. The Friends of Lake Panorama mailing address is PO Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. A donation form also is available on the Friends website, where donations also can be accepted electronically.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, and will be sold once transferred, with the proceeds deposited into the Friends bank account. A securities account has been established with GCSB Investment Center in Panora.
In addition to the Sunset Beach playground, donations also can be made to six separate funds or a combination of funds. There is a general fund, plus funds for Boulder Beach, Shady Beach, Sunset Beach, Panorama West, and Lake Panorama National. Money donated to these will be used at the discretion of the Friends board.