Fundraising Begins for New Sports Court Project

The Friends of Lake Panorama board has decided on its next major fundraising project. At its September meeting, the board voted to raise funds for a new sports court, if the Lake Panorama Association board would commit matching funds in advance.

At its October meeting, the LPA board voted to kickoff the sports court fundraising effort with a contribution of $50,000. LPA is providing this initial commitment as a matching contribution, contingent upon Friends raising $50,000.

The Friends of Lake Panorama is a public charity organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes, and is completely separate from the Lake Panorama Association and Lake Panorama National. All contributions to the nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity are tax deductible.

Current Friends of Lake Panorama board members are Dave Furbush, Kirk Fischer, Bob McCleeary, Jody Muench, Jan Reinicke, Emily Spradling and Tricia Steffen. Susan Thompson provides administrative assistance to the group.

In May, the charity completed a successful $80,000 fundraising campaign that led to the construction of a new playground at Sunset Beach. For that project, the LPA provided $50,000 as a match to the final $50,000 raised by Friends. The playground opened in mid-July to rave reviews from both kids and adults.

Next spring, a donor recognition sign will be erected near the playground, and at least two benches added nearby. Donations for the Sunset Beach playground will be accepted through the end of 2016. Any additional donations will be spent on amenities related to the playground.

The scope of the sports court project is yet to be determined, and will depend on how much money is raised. The main focus is a new concrete base that would feature two tennis courts, with both tennis and pickle ball lines painted on the court surface. The court would be fenced, and may also include two basketball hoops. Or if enough money is raised, a separate concrete pad could be poured for a dedicated basketball court.

Under consideration is adding a PowerGame two-tiered surface over the concrete base. The modular flooring features a locking system, so no glues or anchors are needed. The five-eighths inch high, self-draining surface stays clean by allowing water, dirt and debris to drain through. The cushioned design also provides shock absorption to help reduce joint stress and fatigue.

The location of the project hasn’t been decided, although chances are good it will be constructed at Boulder Beach. The other option is to remove the existing courts at Lake Panorama National, and place the new courts in that same location. LPA staff is gathering information on sports court options, and the topic will be discussed again at the LPA’s November board meeting.

In 2014, Friends proposed renovating the LPN courts, and adding a separate basketball court. While some donors contributed to the proposed renovation project, it didn’t generate enough interest to be viable. Those donors were contacted, and some moved their contributions to the playground project.

Others left their donations in a general sports court fund, in hopes new courts eventually would be developed. The $6,000 from those early donors provides seed money, as efforts get underway to raise at least another $44,000.

For donations by check, mail it to PO Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Or donations can be accepted electronically on the website at

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.

Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. All donors of $500 or more are recognized on the Friends website. A sign recognizing donors of $500 or more also will be erected near the sports courts.

While Friends has made fundraising for the sports courts its current priority, donations can be made to five other funds or a combination of funds. Money donated to any of these funds will be used at the discretion of the Friends board.

There is a general fund, plus funds for Boulder Beach, Shady Beach and Sunset Beach. There also is a Golf Course Beautification fund, which allows donors to direct their contributions to either Lake Panorama National or Panorama West. Money donated to this fund could be used for golf course landscaping such as flowerbeds, shrubbery, trees, benches, and pond riprap.

Questions regarding the Friends of Lake Panorama can be sent to