Sunset Beach Playground Opens for Business

In just four days, a semi-load of playground parts and pieces was assembled into a destination playground at Sunset Beach. The equipment was delivered July 8, installation began July 11 and the playground opened for business July 14.

Donations totaling $80,000 given to the Friends of Lake Panorama nonprofit charity made up the base support for this new playground. The Lake Panorama Association provided an additional $50,000. The LPA also provided technical and construction assistance.

The playground is designed to accommodate up to 165 children at a time. The main play structure includes multiple slides, bridges and places to climb. Several smaller play structures surround the main area, including a modern take on old-fashioned merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters.

The playground colors are blue, green and tan. The Friends board of directors chose these colors to represent the blue water and sky, green grass and trees, and tan sand found at Sunset Beach and throughout the Lake Panorama community.

Those three colors led St. Thomas More counselors to develop a twist on the musical chairs game, which campers can play during daily visits to Sunset Beach. As campers move throughout the playground structure, a counselor will call out a color. Players are eliminated based on the color they are standing on at the time.

The playground has proven popular not just with St. Thomas More campers, but also neighborhood children and visitors. Postings on social media have described adults enjoying the playground along with their children and grandchildren.

The $130,000 raised by Friends of Lake Panorama covered the cost of the playground equipment and installation, plus the play surface that is a base of pea gravel topped with wood fibers. Six rubber mats are buried in the wood fibers at the base of each slide to help protect these areas from heavy traffic.

Donations also covered the cost to refurbish a large wooden bench that was moved to make way for the playground. Kurt Johnson volunteered to replace the deteriorated wooden slats with new cedar, which he stained and sealed. He also repainted the metal braces, and installed the bench in a new location just north of the playground in the shade of two trees.

Remaining funds have been set aside to pay for a donor recognition sign, which will be installed next spring near the playground. Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All contributions are tax deductible, and donors receive a letter of thanks as their receipt.

While donations of all sizes are welcome, only donors of $500 or more will be recognized on the sign, and the Friends website. Donations for the Sunset Beach playground will continue to be accepted through the end of 2016. Any additional funds designated for the playground during this time will be used for benches or other upgrades.

The Friends nonprofit is separate from the Lake Panorama Association, and has a goal of improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. The Friends board of directors will meet in September to discuss potential projects and fundraising efforts. Project suggestions or general questions can be emailed to staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Limited Tickets Still Available for The Beach Ball May 6

Ticket sales and table sponsorships have been strong for the 1st annual Friends of Lake Panorama “Fun-raiser” planned for Friday, May 6. The Beach Ball will be held at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center, with proceeds used to build a new playground at Sunset Beach.

The Friends of Lake Panorama board has set a goal of raising $20,000 with this event, which will make it possible for the playground to be built this summer. Only checks and cash can be accepted that evening for the many fundraising activities.

The Beach Ball will include dinner, live music, a wine pull, raffle, silent and live auctions, and other activities. In keeping with The Beach Ball theme, casual attire is encouraged. All tables will be decorated with a different theme, and those in attendance will vote for their favorites by putting cash into corresponding jars.

Sponsors have been secured for all 30 tables for this event. About 40 individual tickets still are available. Tickets are $40 each, with half of each ticket going to Friends.

Many items have been donated for the auctions and raffle, but more are needed. Some items so far include four tickets to the June 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol 250, located in the Newton Club, plus fan walk passes and parking; basketball signed by Bill Fennelly, Iowa State University women’s basketball coach; and a tree of choice, planted, from the Wood Duck Tree Farm.

Also, two framed limited edition Terry Redlin prints; two framed limited edition Iowa Ducks Unlimited prints; Iowa and Iowa State University bags games; Iowa Hawkeye cast iron skillet; Coca Cola collector’s items; telescope; several planters filled with summer flowers; gift baskets; two collector’s coin sets; wooden golf ball rack; gum ball machine and more.

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets or donating an item for the auctions or raffle can email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org. Or call Susan Thompson at 641-755-4382 or 515-240-6536.

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, so the $100 table sponsorships and $20 per ticket are tax-deductible contributions. The value of items donated for the auctions and raffle also could be tax deductible.

The Beach Ball will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour that features special drink prices and time to view and vote on the decorated tables. The buffet dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m.

Donated bottles of wine are being solicited for the wine pull, and will be wrapped so labels aren’t visible. Patrons will buy a numbered cork for $20, giving them the chance to pull a mystery bottle of wine to take home. Those with wine to donate can contact Julie Wykoff at jaallen9@aol.com or 515-778-0053.

The evening will end with live music presented by the RBJ Trio, which specializes in music from the 1950s to the ‘70s. With Rick McReynolds on vocals and guitar, Beth McReynolds on vocals, and Jack O'Leary on vocals and keyboard, the group plays along with digitally recorded drums and bass to present a full band sound.

Friends of Lake Panorama made a $30,000 down payment on the playground equipment in January. The main playground structure includes multiple slides, bridges and climbing opportunities. Several smaller structures surround the main area, including hop rocks, bongo stumps, a merry-go-round and teeter-totter.

Friends of Lake Panorama “Fun-Raiser” is May 6

The 1st annual Friends of Lake Panorama “Fun-raiser” will be held Friday, May 6, at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center. Planners have dubbed the event “The Beach Ball” since there will be live music and dancing, and money raised will be used to build a new playground at Sunset Beach.

Friends of Lake Panorama needs to raise about $20,000 more to reach its $80,000 goal. If The Beach Ball raises more money than needed for the playground, proceeds will be used for other projects endorsed by the Friends board.

The May 6 event will include dinner, live music, a wine pull, raffle, silent and live auctions, and other “fun-raising” activities. Donated items for the auctions and raffle are being sought. In keeping with The Beach Ball theme, casual attire is encouraged.

Table sponsorships cost $100. Sponsors will be recognized in a printed program and with a table sign. Each table of eight will be individually decorated with a different theme. Sponsors can do their own decorating, or a volunteer decorator will be assigned.

Table sponsors are encouraged to recruit up to eight guests at $40 each for their table. Seats not filled by sponsors will be available for purchase by others interested in attending the event.

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so the $100 table sponsorships and $20 per ticket will be tax-deductible contributions. The other half of each ticket purchase will go to the LPN. The value of items donated for the auctions and raffle also could be tax deductible.

The Beach Ball will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour that features special drink prices and time to view the decorated tables. Guests will be asked to vote on a “People’s Choice” award for the best-decorated table.

A buffet dinner at 6 p.m. will feature strawberry spinach salad, fresh fruit, marinated vegetables, Chicken Francese — a lightly breaded chicken breast served with herbed lemon butter sauce— and Parmesan garlic potatoes.

Wine lovers will be interested in the wine pull. Donated bottles of wine are being solicited for this event, and will be wrapped so labels aren’t visible. Patrons will buy a numbered cork for $20, giving them the chance to pull a mystery wine bottle to take home. Anyone donating bottles of wine for this game can contact Julie Wykoff at jaallen9@aol.com or 515-778-0053.

The evening will end with live music presented by the RBJ Trio, which specializes in music from the 1950s to the ‘70s. With Rick McReynolds on vocals and guitar, Beth McReynolds on vocals, and Jack O'Leary on vocals and keyboard, the group plays along with digitally recorded drums and bass to present a full band sound.

Those interested in sponsoring a table, purchasing tickets or donating an item for The Beach Ball can email staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org. Or call Susan Thompson at 641-755-4382 or 515-240-6536.

Sunset Beach Playground Donations Continue

Another $2,200 in donations was received in the first six weeks of 2016 to support a new destination playground at Sunset Beach. Friends of Lake Panorama now has raised $57,000 towards its goal of $80,000 for the playground. 

The first $30,000 was raised in late 2014 through August 2015. A mailing to LPA members last November announced Friends is working to raise an additional $50,000. The Lake Panorama Association board voted to match that amount if the money is raised no later than August 1, 2016.

Since the first of this year, there have been three $500 donors, and four donors who gave $100 each. Another $300 came from The Port, which hosted a Super Bowl Party February 7, with a portion of the proceeds going to the playground project.

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All contributions are tax deductible, and 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. 

In January, Friends made a down payment on the playground equipment to avoid a 5 percent price increase that would have occurred. Kirk Fischer, president of the Friends board of directors, encourages donors to make a 2016 tax-deductible contribution now so the playground can be installed this summer. 

“We know people often wait until the end of the year to make their charitable contributions,” Fischer says. “But 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 amount needed.”

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. 

A special fundraising event is planned for Friday, May 6, at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center. Plans include a dinner, raffles, silent and live auctions and live music. If money still is needed to reach the playground goal, proceeds will go to that fund. If that goal has been reached, proceeds will be used for other projects endorsed by the Friends board.

Sponsors and hosts will be sought for 30 tables of eight. Each table will be individually decorated with a different theme. Sponsors will be able to choose whether to do their own decorating, or have a volunteer do this, and participants will vote on a “People’s Choice” award for the best-decorated table. Ticket sales will get underway in March, and donated items are being sought for the raffle and auctions.

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. Donations by check can be mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, PO Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. Donations also can be accepted electronically on the Friends website

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.

Questions or suggestions can be emailed to staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org. The website is www.friendsoflakepanorama.org

Donations to Sunset Beach Playground Halfway to Goal

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.

Questions regarding the Friends of Lake Panorama can be emailed to staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org. The website is www.friendsoflakepanorama.org

Two Friends Fundraising Events Scheduled

Two special events to raise money for Friends of Lake Panorama are planned for this spring. A Super Bowl Party will be held at The Port on Sunday, February 7. On Friday, May 6, a dinner with live music will be held at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center.

First up is the Super Bowl Party at The Port, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Sunset Beach playground. Paul Wendl, a past owner of The Port, has been working there part-time since last spring.

“We used to have a private Super Bowl party for our friends and always had a great time. I got to thinking we could do something similar, but open it to the public, and raise money for the playground,” he says.

The Port’s usual Sunday brunch will be served earlier in the day. The doors will reopen at 4 p.m. for the fundraising event. Admission is $10 per person. A potato bar with multiple toppings will be included in the admission fee.

Kickoff for the football game is 5:30 p.m., and the game will be available on four televisions. There will be a cash bar, and door prize drawings will be held throughout the evening. For those who don’t care about the game, but want to enjoy the social time, tables will be available for card players and conversation.

The Friends of Lake Panorama will have a table set-up with donor forms and a display showing the Sunset Beach playground. Some members of the volunteer Friends board will be in assisting with the event, and available to answer questions about the playground or other activities of the nonprofit charity.

Preliminary plans for the May 6 fundraiser include a dinner, raffle, silent and live auctions, and live music. If money still is needed to reach the $50,000 playground goal, proceeds will go to that fund. If that goal has been reached, proceeds will be used for other projects endorsed by the Friends board.

Sponsors and hosts will be sought for 30 tables of eight. Each table will be individually decorated with a different theme. Sponsors will be able to choose whether to do their own decorating, or have a volunteer do this. This idea for decorated tables comes from a successful fundraising event in Ogden. Participants will be asked to vote on a “People’s Choice” award for the best-decorated table.

Details will be finalized over the next six weeks, and ticket sales will get underway in March. Donated items are being sought for the raffle and auctions. Anyone with items to donate, or who wants to volunteer as a table host, sponsor or decorator, can send an email to staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Playground Donations Surpass $40,000 Mark

Donations to the Friends of Lake Panorama in support of a new playground at Sunset Beach now stand at more than $40,000. The first $30,000 was raised in late 2014 and through August of this year.

In mid-November, a special mailing to LPA members announced the nonprofit Friends group is working to raise an additional $50,000. The Lake Panorama Association board has pledged to match that amount if the money is raised by August 1, 2016.

So far, the mailing has brought in about $10,000. Lake Panorama Realty donated $2,500. Dave Wagler, a broker and Realtor with Lake Panorama Realty, says he and real estate agent Laura Kemble decided to make this donation for several reasons.

“We both live in this community, and are grateful for the Lake Panorama membership so wanted to contribute to this important project,” Wagler says. “Also, it is important to us that our community be appealing to potential home buyers. This new playground at Sunset Beach will add yet another amenity to attract new home buyers, as well as help support property values.”

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.

Kirk Fischer is one of seven volunteers serving on the Friends board of directors, and is in his second year as board president. He says one reason the Friends board plans to build this new playground is to provide families who are boating on busy weekends a fun place to get off the water for a while, while still enjoying their time on Lake Panorama.

The main play 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.

“We’re hoping a wide range of Lake Panorama members, as well as friends, family and area businesses will donate to this new playground,” Fischer says. “To help make sure we don’t miss out on the matching funds from the LPA, perhaps donors will want to split their contribution, making a 2015 tax-deductible contribution now, and a 2016 tax-deductible contribution in January.”

Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. For donations by check, the mailing includes a form that can be completed and returned with a check. A donation form also is available on the Friends website, and donations 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.

Questions regarding the Friends of Lake Panorama can be emailed to staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Friends of Lake Panorama Making Push for Sunset Playground Donations

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.

The nonprofit is separate from the Lake Panorama Association, and is operated by a seven-member board of volunteers who are LPA members. The group’s goal is to improve recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions are tax deductible, and all donors receive a letter of thanks as their receipt.

Members of the Friends board attended the October meeting of the LPA Board of Directors. Kirk Fischer, president of the Friends board, provided an update on activities, including the fact the group has raised $30,000 from 47 donors for a destination playground at Sunset Beach.

Fischer asked the LPA board to consider a matching grant in its 2016 capital budget for the playground. He asked if Friends raised another $50,000 for the playground, would the LPA match that amount. After discussion, the LPA board gave unanimous approval to provide $50,000 if Friends raises $50,000 by August 1, 2016.

LPA members should already have received a mailing from Friends with information on the Sunset Beach playground. The playground is geared to ages 5 through 12, and has a play capacity of 165. The area covered by play equipment will be 60'x53' with a larger protective surface area of 72'x66'.

The main play structure includes multiple slides, bridges and climbing opportunities. Several smaller play structures surround the main area, including hop rocks, bongo stumps, and modern takes on the old-fashioned merry-go-round and teeter-totter.

Fischer says the goal of the Friends board is to raise its $50,000 for the Sunset Beach playground by April. “That way we can get the matching $50,000 from the LPA and build this fantastic playground for use in 2016,” he says. “Perhaps donors will want to split their contribution, making a 2015 tax-deductible contribution now, and a 2016 tax-deductible contribution in January.”

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 any of these funds will be used at the discretion of the Friends board.

One change from the 2014 fundraising effort is a decision by the Friends board to no longer solicit money for the LPN sports courts. Renovating the two existing tennis courts at the LPN, plus adding a basketball court, was promoted in its first year of fundraising. While 19 donors did contribute to the proposed project, it didn’t generate enough interest to be viable.

The LPA board now is discussing installing tennis and basketball courts at Boulder Beach in 2017 or 2018. Since the location and scope of the project has changed, donors to the LPN sports courts are being contacted to confirm their donations can be used to purchase “extras” such as nets and baskets for new courts at Boulder Beach.

For donations by check, the mailing includes a form that can be completed and returned with a check. A donation form also is available on the Friends website. Or donations can be accepted electronically on the website at www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.

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.

All donors of $500 or more will be recognized on the Friends website and in future publicity. Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. A sign recognizing donors of $500 or more will be erected near the Sunset Beach playground. Donor recognition levels are Friend, $500-999; Steward, $1,000-4,999; Benefactor, $5,000-9,999; Leader, $10,000-24,999; and Champion, $25,000-49,000.

Questions regarding the Friends of Lake Panorama can be directed to Susan Thompson at 641-755-4382 or staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

FRIENDS OF LAKE PANORAMA DONORS MAKE UPGRADES POSSIBLE

Donations to Friends of Lake Panorama have made some recent upgrades at both Lake Panorama National and Panorama West possible. Two new signs featuring the Panorama West Golf Course and Clubhouse logo now are on display at the parking lot entrance, with one facing north and the other facing south.

The two new signs, which cost just under $700, were made possible by donations from two couples. Last December, Wade and Teresa Jensen donated $1,000, with $500 designated for use at Panorama West, and $500 for the Sunset Beach playground. Jay and Sue Merryman donated $500, with $200 for Panorama West and the remaining $300 to the Friends of Lake Panorama general fund.

Two new signs also are in place over east entrances at the LPN Conference Center. Both signs sport the LPN logo. The one on the south shows it’s the entrance to The Links Restaurant and Lounge. The one on the north shows it’s the entrance to the LPN Reception Hall.

The LPN signs were made possible by donations from businesses in the LPN Granite Club. This teebox sponsorship program began in 2008, when 12 businesses made monetary or in-kind contributions to Lake Panorama National to support the construction of Spikes. In 2014, management of the program shifted to Friends of Lake Panorama.

In the last 12 months, teebox sponsors contributed $6,000 to the Granite Club fund. All money raised is used for improvements at the LPN. Besides the two new signs, the donations supported the purchase of a mug chiller for The Links Lounge, two hot dog rollers, two chocolate fountains for use at receptions and other special events, a two-door stainless steel freezer, aluminum carts and other items for the LPN kitchen.

Current Granite Club members are American Equity, Brokers International, Ltd., Brokers International Financial Services, Bryton Insurance, Clover Ridge Interval Owners, Exterior Sheet Metal, Guthrie County State Bank/Lake Panorama Realty/GSCB Investment Center, Panora Telco, Mike Potthoff, Stanley Engineering, and Total Financial Solutions.

Seven holes on the LPN golf course are available for new Granite Club members. Entry into the Club follows the 2008 rules. Donors of $10,000 receive a teebox sign for a five-year period. Donors of $5,000 receive a sign for two years. As initial contracts expire, club members can choose to make another large donation, switch to an annual $500 donation, or have the sign removed. More information about the Granite Club is available by emailing staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

MAILING TO LPA MEMBERS YIELDS NEW SUNSET BEACH DONATIONS

A letter sent to all Lake Panorama Association members in late July is resulting in additional donations for a playground at Sunset Beach. The letter outlined efforts by the Friends of Lake Panorama to raise enough money to lock in the current bid for the planned playground.

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, which is focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama.

The Friends board kicked off its first fundraising campaign last fall with a similar mailing, and more than $35,000 was donated in the last six weeks of 2014. Since a high percentage of charitable contributions are made towards the end of each year, the Friends board is asking LPA members to consider making a 2015 charitable contribution now, rather than waiting until December.

In the first three weeks after the special mailing, $4,500 was donated for the Sunset Beach playground. The playground is geared to ages 5-12, and has a play area capacity of 165. The main play structure includes multiple slides, bridges and climbing opportunities. Several smaller play structures surround the main area.

The Friends board remains committed to raising enough money for the complete playground. However, to help advance this project, they will consider building the playground in two phases, if necessary. The mailing LPA members received showed both the full playground, and a possible first phase, which could be built for $50,000.

A form sent with the letter outlined the ways donations can be made to Friends of Lake Panorama. Cash, check, credit card, securities transfers and estate gifts all are welcome. Donations can be given in someone’s memory or in honor of someone.

All contributions to Friends of Lake Panorama are tax deductible, and all donors receive a letter of thanks as their receipt. Only donations of $500 or more receive public recognition. Donations of $50,000 or more will receive special recognition, with the possibility of naming rights for the playground.

FRIENDS OF LAKE PANORAMA BOARD MAKES PUSH FOR SUNSET BEACH DONATIONS

At its June 15 board meeting, the Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors voted to take steps to promote additional donations for a playground at Sunset Beach.

One step is a letter that will arrive soon in the mailboxes of all Lake Panorama property owners. In the letter, Kirk Fischer, current president of the Friends board, said “everyone within the Lake Panorama community has a vested interest in recreational amenities that contribute to the community’s ongoing success.”

It’s been just one year since the IRS granted Friends of Lake Panorama tax-exempt status. This 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, which is focused on improving recreational amenities, is separate from the Lake Panorama Association.

The Friends board kicked off its first fundraising campaign last fall with a similar mailing. “We were pleased when more than $35,000 was donated in the last six weeks of 2014,” Fischer said. “The project that received the most support is a new destination playground at Sunset Beach. About $25,000 has been raised so far for the playground.”

The original playground bid of $112,900 has been extended through 2015, but the vendor has said there will be a price increase in 2016. Fischer said the Friends board hopes to raise enough funds this year to lock in the current price.

Statistics show a high percentage of charitable contributions are made in the last few weeks of each year. Perhaps it’s the holiday spirit, or a desire to get a final tax deduction, or both.

Fischer said the Friends board is asking LPA members to consider getting into the holiday spirit this summer, and make a 2015 charitable contribution now, rather than waiting until December.

“Your support will help us move forward with this new playground that will be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren in 2016 and for many years to come,” he said.

The playground is geared to ages 5-12, and has a play area capacity of 165. The area covered by equipment will be 60 feet by 53 feet, with a larger protective surface area of 72 feet by 66 feet. The main play structure includes multiple slides, bridges and climbing opportunities. Several smaller play structures surround the main area, including a modern take on old-fashioned merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters.

Fischer said the Friends board is fully committed to raising enough money for the complete playground. However, to help advance this project, they will consider building the playground in two phases, if necessary. The mailing LPA members will receive shows both the full playground, and a possible first phase, which could be built for $50,000.

A form sent with the letter outlines the ways donations can be made to Friends of Lake Panorama. Cash, check, credit card, securities transfers and estate gifts all are welcome. Donations can be given in someone’s memory or in honor of someone.

All contributions to Friends of Lake Panorama are tax deductible, and all donors receive a letter of thanks as their receipt. Only donations of $500 or more receive public recognition. Donations of $50,000 or more will receive special recognition, with the possibility of naming rights for a particular project.

Other donor recognition levels are: Champion - $25,000 - $49,999; Leader - $10,000 - $24,999; Benefactor - $5,000 - $9,999; Steward - $1,000 - $4,999; and Friend - $500 - $999.

More details about Friends of Lake Panorama, including a list of recognized donors and additional projects it supports, are on the charity’s website at friendsoflakepanorama.org.

FRIENDS OF LAKE PANORAMA FUNDRAISER A SUCCESS

A sale of donated items May 29-30 raised more than $1,500 for the LPN sports courts project. The event was organized by Friends of Lake Panorama. The nonprofit charity is focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Two similar sales benefiting a destination playground at Sunset Beach raised $3,500, with $1,700 from a sale last November, and $1,800 raised at a second sale in late April.

Fundraising is ongoing for these two priority projects. Donations for these and other recreational amenities at Lake Panorama’s three beaches and two golf courses are welcome at any time of the year.

A donation form and more details are available on the Friends website, which is www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.

SALE MAY 29-30 TO BENEFIT LPN SPORTS COURTS

A sale of donated items will be held May 29-30 to raise money for renovating two tennis courts and adding a basketball court at Lake Panorama National. The sale will take place in the LPN Inn conference room on Karen Drive, south of the LPN conference center.

Friends of Lake Panorama is organizing the sale. The nonprofit charity is focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Donations of quality items are needed. Since all donations to Friends of Lake Panorama are tax-deductible, those who would like documentation for tax purposes can request it at the time they drop off their items at the sale site.

Some of the items already committed are water skis and other water sport items, art pieces and frames, home decorating pieces, Christmas and other seasonal items, golf equipment, kitchenware, and much more.

Volunteers are needed to help throughout the two-day event. Items can be taken to the LPN Inn beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 29. The sale will open that day at 1 p.m. and continue until 7 p.m. On Saturday, May 30, the sale will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. To volunteer, or with questions, contact Susan Thompson at 641-755-4382 or staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Details on the LPN sports courts project will be on display throughout the sale. The courts are open to the public at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. While usable, the courts are in serious need of repair.

The Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors has accepted a proposal from Sport Construction Midwest to renovate the current tennis courts, plus add an adjacent basketball court when funds become available.

The first step involves repairing cracks and leveling the overall surface of the existing tennis courts. A crack repair product that has been proven 300 percent more successful than traditional methods will be used.

Next, a PowerGame two-tiered surface will be placed over the existing court, and marked for both tennis and pickle ball. 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.

New concrete will be poured for the basketball court, which will be 50 feet wide by nearly 79 feet in length. There will be a basketball hoop system at each end of the court, and fencing will be added to at least two sides. The current proposal includes topping the basketball court with matching modular flooring used on the tennis courts.

Two similar sales benefiting a destination playground at Sunset Beach raised $3,500, with $1,700 from a sale last November, and $1,800 raised at a second sale in late April.

Fundraising is ongoing for these two priority projects. Donations for these and other recreational amenities are welcome at any time of the year. A donation form and more details are available on the Friends website, which is www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.

FRIENDS OF LAKE PANORAMA HOSTING TWO FUNDRAISING SALES

Friends of Lake Panorama is organizing two sales of donated items, with proceeds going to two priority projects. This nonprofit charity is focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions to the nonprofit are tax deductible.

Donations of quality items are requested for both sales, as are volunteers to help before, during and after each event.

First up is a sale April 24-25 at the Panorama West Clubhouse, to support a destination playground at Sunset Beach. A similar sale last fall raised nearly $1,700. Details of the playground will be on display.

Sale hours will be Friday, April 24, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 25, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items can be taken to the Panorama West Clubhouse on Thursday, April 23, beginning at 8 a.m., where volunteers will organize the sale. Anyone with questions can call Jody Muench at 641-431-1440.

A second sale will be May 29-30 in the conference room at the LPN Inn at Lake Panorama National. Proceeds from this sale will support the renovation of the two tennis courts at the LPN.

Sale hours will be Friday, May 29, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 30, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items can be taken to the LPN Inn beginning at 8 a.m. on May 29.

Details on the LPN sports courts project will be on display. Anyone with questions about this second sale can call Susan Thompson at 641-755-4382.

Since all donations to Friends of Lake Panorama are tax-deductible, those who would like documentation for tax purposes can request it at the time they drop off their items at either sale site.

Fundraising is ongoing and donations welcome at any time of the year. A donation form and details on donation options are available on the Friends website, which is www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.

FRIENDS OF LAKE PANORAMA BOARD CONTINUES FOCUS ON TWO PROJECTS

At its March 9 meeting, the Friends of Lake Panorama Board of Directors agreed its fundraising focus for 2015 will continue to be two priority projects. One is a new destination playground at Sunset Beach. The other involves renovating two existing tennis courts and adding a basketball court at Lake Panorama National.

The Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) charity focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions to the nonprofit are tax deductible, and all donors receive a receipt to use when filing their tax returns.

Bids have been received on both priority projects. Prior to the March board meeting, both chosen vendors agreed to honor their existing bids beyond the original deadlines.

With those extensions, the Friends board voted to continue to seek individual and corporate donations for these two priority projects. Possible fundraising projects to conduct throughout the year were discussed. A fundraising subcommittee will be formed to help flesh out the ideas that surfaced.

The board also discussed the possibility of completing the projects in phases, rather than waiting until all necessary funds have been raised. This idea will be pursued further.

A November mailing to all LPA members resulted in more than $35,000 being donated to the nonprofit before the end of 2014. Additional donations continue to be received in 2015.

While all donations are important, only donations of $500 or more receive public recognition. So far, 33 donors are listed on the Friends of Lake Panorama website, along with how the donations are to be used. Currently, Dan and Melissa Pflieger are the sole donors under the “Benefactor” category, which honors donations of $5,000 to $9,999.

There are 15 donors listed in the “Steward” category, which honors donations of $1,000 to $4,999. They are Gloria Anderson, In Memory of William Anderson; Larry Babcock and Susan Thompson; Davis Equipment/Turfwerks/Paul Z. Davis Family; Sherri Faga, In Memory of Larry Faga; David and Kimberley Furbush; Dick and Carolyn Koberg; Todd and Amy Foje; Dr. Robert and Nancy McCleeary; Barry Monaghan and Nancy Peters; Todd and Renie Plumb; Aaron and Mindy Poldberg; Jim and Emily Spradling; Greg and Tricia Steffen, In Memory of Rick Motsick; Sunset Beach Neighbors; and Jim and Dee Tometich.

There are 17 donors in the “Friend” category, which includes donors of $500 to $999. They are Paul and Stacy Borseth; Kirk and Lisa Fischer; Gratias Properties, LLC, In Memory of Joe Scheiring; Darrell and Suzanne Hartle; Mel and Dorna Haught Family; Wade and Teresa Jensen; Dr. Mark C. Menadue; Jay and Sue Merryman; Daryl Muhlbauer; Steve and Danielle Navarro; Ken and Sue Nelson; Jan and Lynn Reinicke; James and Gloria Schlichtemier, In Honor of David Schlichtemier; Scott and Cheryl Temple; Jim and Mary Theisen; Dan and Gretchen Wilhelmi, In Memory of Rick Motsick; and Dale and Joyce Wittrock.

Where significant projects warrant, such as the Sunset Beach playground and the LPN sports courts, a sign recognizing large donors also will be erected near the completed project. Publicity and an annual report are other ways donors are recognized.

Fundraising is ongoing and donations welcome at any time of the year. A donation form and details on donation options is available here.

SALE APRIL 24-25 TO BENEFIT SUNSET BEACH PLAYGROUND PROJECT

It was so successful the first time, they’re doing it again. Last November, a group of Sunset Beach neighbors held a two-day sale to benefit a new playground there. The result was nearly $1,700 donated to the Friends of Lake Panorama, which is raising money for the playground.

Now a spring sale will be held Friday, April 24, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 25, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Panorama West Clubhouse.

Items for the sale are being sought. People can donate items with all proceeds going to the Friends nonprofit, or keep a portion of their sale proceeds. Organizers are asking that at least 25 percent of sale proceeds be donated.

Items can be taken to the clubhouse on Thursday, April 23. All donations to Friends of Lake Panorama are tax-deductible, so those who would like documentation for tax purposes can request it.

Refreshments will be available for freewill donations. Donations of cookies and bars are welcome, as are volunteers to help before, during and after the sale.

A display showing the proposed Sunset Beach playground will be in the community room throughout the sale, and all money raised will go to the playground project.

Questions? Call Jody Muench at 641-431-1440.

Fundraising Wraps Up for Bench Honoring Joe Scheiring

Enough money has been raised to purchase and install a granite bench at Panorama West as a memorial for Joe Scheiring. Scheiring passed away last Aug. 8. He was well known as the organizer of the Fourth of July fireworks that originated at Shady Beach for 20 years.

John Crawmer led the effort to honor the golf enthusiast with a bench on the #7 tee box at the Panorama West golf course. Plans are being finalized for the bench, and the granite ordered. It is hoped the bench can be installed by early summer.

Donations were accepted by the Friends of Lake Panorama, a 501(c)(3) public charity focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions to the nonprofit are tax deductible.

The main goal of the charity is to raise money for projects the LPA cannot finance. Fundraising is underway for a new playground at Sunset Beach and renovated sports courts at Lake Panorama National. But being able to assist with smaller projects such as the Scheiring memorial bench is another reason Friends of Lake Panorama was formed.

Donors of $500 or more are listed on the Friends of Lake Panorama website. Where significant projects warrant, such as the Sunset Beach playground and the LPN sports courts, a sign recognizing large donors also will be erected near the completed project. Publicity and an annual report will be other ways donors are recognized.

Fundraising is ongoing. A donation form and details on donation options are available on the Friends website, which is www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Donations to Friends of Lake Panorama Reach $35,000

More than $35,000 was donated to the Friends of Lake Panorama in the last six weeks of 2014. A mid-November mailing to all LPA members included details of the nonprofit organization, its two current priority projects and a donation guide.

The Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) charity focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions to the nonprofit are tax deductible, and all donors receive a receipt to use when filing their tax returns.

The mailing encouraged donations to two current priority projects. Nearly $19,000 has been donated so far to support a new playground at Sunset Beach. To date, the project’s largest donors are Dan and Melissa Pflieger, who gave $5,000 to the playground project.

More than $8,000 has been donated to renovate two tennis courts and add a basketball court at Lake Panorama National. Additional support for the sports courts project will come from $5,500 raised so far from 2015 LPN Granite Club members.

Granite Club members are recognized with granite signs on tee boxes on the LPN golf course. Currently there are seven holes on the course available for new Granite Club members. Efforts to promote new Granite Club memberships will get underway this spring.

Bids have been received for both priority projects. The Friends board had been told by the Sunset Beach playground contractor a price increase would take place in 2015, and a down payment of $29,000 would be needed to keep the current bid in place. The Friends board later received the good news that no price increase is expected this year. The bid for the LPN sports courts is good until April 1, 2015.

Additional efforts and special events to continue to raise money for these two projects are being planned. One option discussed is naming the playground or sports courts after an individual, family or company making a significant donation to either project. Anyone interested in this possibility can contact Susan Thompson at staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Besides donations for these two priority projects, donations also have been received for each of six separate funds. About $1,700 was donated both to the Friends of Lake Panorama general fund and the LPN general fund. Nearly $1,000 was donated to both Panorama West and Shady Beach, with $550 to Boulder Beach.

Friends of Lake Panorama board members say they are pleased LPA members are making donations to recreational areas at Lake Panorama that interest them the most. The board will meet in early March, with one topic on the agenda being how money donated to these additional funds might be used. LPA members are encouraged to submit suggestions for how the money could be spent when they make a donation to one of the general funds.

Donors of $500 or more are listed on the Friends website. Where significant projects warrant, such as the Sunset Beach playground and the LPN sports courts, a sign recognizing large donors also will be erected near the completed project. Publicity and an annual report will be other ways donors are recognized.

Most donations so far have been made by check. But some have come through the Friends website using a credit card. Donations of securities also have been received through the Friends securities account with GCSB Investment Center in Panora. A donation form and complete details on donation options are available here.

FUNDRAISING CONTINUES FOR ‘JOE’S BENCH’

Fundraising for a project to honor Joe Scheiring is progressing, with about $1,000 raised towards a $2,500 goal. Scheiring passed away Aug. 8. He was well known as the organizer of the Fourth of July fireworks that originated at Lake Panorama’s Shady Beach for 20 years.

John Crawmer is leading the effort to honor the golf enthusiast with a bench on the #7 tee box at the Panorama West golf course. It is hoped enough money can be raised to have the bench in place during the 2015 golf season.

Donations are being accepted by the Friends of Lake Panorama charity, so all donations are tax-deductible. Any size donation is welcome. If more than the needed $2,500 is raised, extra funds will go to the Wounded Warriors Project, which Joe designated before his death as a charity of choice.

Checks should be made out to Friends of Lake Panorama and mailed to Friends of Lake Panorama, PO Box 488, Panora, IA 50216. For information about the bench, contact Crawmer at 641-755-3043 or 641-757-1950. For information about Friends of Lake Panorama, contact Susan Thompson at 641-755-4382 or 515-240-6536.

Donations to Friends of Lake Panorama Coming In

A mailing to all LPA members in mid-November is resulting in new donations to Friends of Lake Panorama, but additional donations are being sought. The mailing included details of the nonprofit organization, its two current priority projects and a donation guide.

The Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) charity focused on improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions to the nonprofit are tax deductible, and all donors will receive a receipt to use when filing their tax returns.

Donations are encouraged for two current priority projects — a new playground at Sunset Beach, and renovation of tennis courts plus the addition of a basketball court at Lake Panorama National.

Bids have been received for both projects. To keep the current Sunset Beach playground bid in place, about $29,000 must be raised before the end of December. That is the down payment needed to avoid an estimated five-percent increase in price. The bid for the LPN sports courts is good until April 1, 2015.

The Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors held its 2015 organizational meeting Dec. 2. Kirk Fischer was elected as board president. Tricia Steffen was elected to a second year as vice president, and Jim Spradling was elected to a second year as secretary/treasurer.

It was the last meeting for board members Kent Stephenson and Jodi Sutton, who each completed one-year terms, with Stephenson serving as president. Replacing them on the board are Dave Furbush and Jody Muench. Other board members are Bob McCleeary and Jan Reinicke.

At the meeting, the board discussed the need to make a push for additional donations in 2014 to see if the Sunset Beach playground bid can be kept at its current level. One option discussed was naming the playground after an individual, family or company making a significant donation to this project. Anyone interested in this possibility is asked to contact Susan Thompson at staff@friendsoflakepanorama.org.

Besides donations for these two priority projects, donations also have been received for each of six separate funds. These include a general fund, plus funds for Boulder Beach, Shady Beach, Sunset Beach, Panorama West and Lake Panorama National.

Board members said they are pleased LPA members are making donations to recreational areas at Lake Panorama that interest them the most. They will discuss how money donated to these general funds might be used when they meet in March.

Donors of $500 or more are listed on the Friends website here. Where significant projects warrant, such as the Sunset Beach playground and the LPN sports courts, a sign recognizing donors also will be erected near the completed project. Publicity and an annual report will be other ways donors are recognized.

Donations can be made by check or on the website using a credit card. Donations of securities also are welcome, and will be sold once transferred. A securities account has been established with GCSB Investment Center in Panora. Those donating securities are asked to complete and submit a donation form directing how the securities proceeds should be used. The donation form is available here.