Building new sports courts at Boulder Beach is the latest priority fundraising effort for Friends of Lake Panorama, and donations are starting to come in. The Friends nonprofit is separate from the Lake Panorama Association, and has a goal of improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama.

The sports courts project got an early boost when the LPA board voted at its October meeting to commit at least $50,000 to new sports courts, once Friends raises $50,000. 

The main focus is a new concrete base surrounded by black vinyl fencing, featuring two regulation-sized tennis courts with both tennis and pickle ball lines painted on the court surface.

PowerGame two-tiered surface will be placed 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 provides shock absorption to help reduce joint stress and fatigue. This project is estimated at $125,000. 

It is hoped an additional $25,000 can be raised to also pour a separate concrete pad for a dedicated basketball court. If there isn’t enough financial support for a separate court, two basketball hoop systems would be added to the tennis courts. 

In 2014, Friends proposed renovating the LPN courts, and adding a separate basketball court. While some donors contributed to that project, it didn’t generate enough interest to be viable. The $7,500 from those early donors provides seed money for this new sports courts project.

The goal of the Friends board is to raise enough money to have the sports courts installed at least by 2018. A full-page ad in the December Lake Panorama Times provides details on the project and how to donate. Personal contacts also are being made. 

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 sports courts.

Statistics show a high percentage of charitable contributions are made in the last few weeks of the year. Friends of Lake Panorama is a relatively new option for charitable giving, having just received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS in July 2014. All contributions are tax deductible, and all donors receive a letter of thanks as their receipt.

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

In May, the charity completed a successful $130,000 fundraising campaign that led to the construction of a new playground at Sunset Beach. The LPA provided $50,000 as a match for the playground.

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

Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. For donations by check, clip the “coupon” from the full-page ad in the December Lake Panorama Times and mail it with a check to PO Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. A donation form also is available on the Friends website. Donations also 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.

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 choose either Lake Panorama National or Panorama West. Money donated to this fund could be used for golf course landscaping, benches and pond riprap.

Questions regarding the Friends of Lake Panorama can be sent to