Friends of Lake Panorama is governed by a volunteer seven-member board of directors. The board held its 2017 organizational meeting December 12, 2016. The meeting was the last one for Kirk Fischer, who was completing a three-year term. He was the Friends board president the last two years.

Kim Lubeck was appointed to replace Fischer, and will serve a three-year term on the beginning January 1, 2017. Lubeck has a bachelor’s degree in business from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. He recently retired after 42 years as the owner/operator of Panora Oil Company.

Jan Reinicke and Bob McCleeary were reappointed to the board for their second three-year terms. Other Friends board members are Dave Furbush, Jody Muench, Emily Spradling and Tricia Steffen. Susan Thompson is the non-profit’s executive director.

In May, the charity completed a successful $130,000 fundraising campaign that led to the construction of a new playground at Sunset Beach. At its December meeting, the board discussed final work to be completed at the playground this spring, including installation of a donor recognition sign and three benches.

Fundraising plans for the sports courts project were discussed, and it was agreed a 2nd annual Beach Ball will be held Saturday, May 6, with all proceeds going to the sports courts. Board members and a committee of other volunteers will finalize details for the event, with more information to be released in March.

Two smaller projects also were discussed. One is the construction of a rain garden along the east side of the Panorama West clubhouse parking lot. A rain garden is a landscaped depression that captures rainwater runoff. This runoff is temporarily ponded before infiltrating and percolating down through the natural soils.

The Guthrie County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners has approved an application from Friends for cost-share assistance for the rain garden. It will be installed in early June.

The other project is to work with the Panorama Community Schools to improve the cross-country trail near Panorama West. A tour of the trail will be held in the spring with representatives of Panorama Schools, Friends of Lake Panorama and the LPA to discuss options, including improved signage and a course map.

It was reported Friends of Lake Panorama now has a Facebook page. Those interested in keeping up-to-date about Friends fundraising and activities are asked to “like” and “share” the Friends Facebook page.

Officer elections were held at the end of the organizational meeting. Reinicke will serve as president during 2017. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She retired in 2008 after 28 years with the Iowa State Education Association.

Furbush will serve as vice president during 2017. Furbush has a bachelor’s degree from Principia College, and an MBA from Washington University. In 2000, he founded Midwest Project Partners, Inc., a financial services industry project management consulting firm.

Spradling will serve as secretary-treasurer. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Iowa State University. She retired in 2013 after 25 years as a commercial interiors consultant. Prior to that, she was a middle school language arts teacher.

McCleeary earned both bachelor’s and MD degrees from the University of Iowa. He was a practicing radiologist with Iowa Radiology his entire career, before retiring in 2016.

Muench worked in the McFarland Clinic business office for 27 years before retiring. Prior to that, she was a secretary at Rueter’s Equipment for 11 years.

Steffen earned a bachelor’s degree and Pharm.D degree from the University of Iowa. Since 1999, she has been office manager for the Perry Family Dentistry.

Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iowa State University. She retired in 2010 after 15 years in communications for the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Thompson can be reached at 515-240-6536, or