By Jennifer Kotila
DASSEL, COKATO, MN Fundraising for the Dassel-Cokato Regional Ice and Sports Center (DCRISC) has been given a boost with the announcement of a $90,000 matching grant.
The nonprofit DCRISC group held a social event Dec. 15 at the Dassel History Center to announce the matching funds to previous donors.
The matching grant will come from the Hempel Summer Golf Endowment, set up by Willard (Bill) Hempel to support a youth golf program in the Dassel-Cokato area.
“With the generous donation of the Hempel funds, we are now within $110,000 of completing phase two, assuming we will be able to take full advantage of the matching funds,” said DCRISC Chair Keith Raisanen. “Our very realistic goal is to be skating in the new arena one year from now.”
The Bill Hempel family has agreed to donate $90,000 as a matching grant to complete phase two, with the hope that the arena will be ready for natural indoor ice next hockey season.
As donations from other individuals and groups are received in the upcoming months, matching funds will be released from the $90,000 donation.
Construction of the DCRISC is ongoing, and will continue as funds become available.
Bill Hempel donated $400,000 in 1999 toward the arena. He also set up a $100,000 endowment fund to support the summer golf program, but low interest rates in recent years have made supporting the program difficult.
Because Hempel also had a desire to incorporate indoor golf into the DCRISC, endowment fund manager Steve Benda consulted DC golf coach Jon Ring.
Although the youth summer golf program allows children to be introduced to golf, Ring noted there is also a need to provide an area for middle and high school golfers to train in the early spring and during inclement weather.
After cunsulting the Hempel family and DC school administration, all involved agreed donating the endowment funds to the arena would fulfill Hempel’s dream.
DCRISC has already received in-kind donations of tee boxes, netting, artificial turf, and a putting green for the arena.
Construction of the outside shell of the arena was completed two years ago at a cost of approximately $1 million.
As funds are received, phase two construction inside the arena has commenced. Phase two has a budget of $340,000.
The $90,000 donation brings the total funds received for phase two to $230,000.
The goal now is to raise funds as quickly as possible to match the $90,000 donation, complete phase two, and get area youth on the ice by the 2014-15 skating season.
The building is being constructed without debt, according to DCRISC. Once the arena is operational, maintenance and operation costs will be covered by the sale of ice time, concessions, advertising revenue, tournament revenue, pro-shop sales, rental of meeting rooms, and rental from long-term lease holders (fitness club, office space).
Phase three of construction has a budget of about $1 million, and includes installation of refrigeration and the HVAC system, and construction of the foyer, concessions, and warming area.
Phase three will also be completed as funds become available.
For more information, visit www.dcrisc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in donating to the DCRISC can do so as a one-time payment to DCRISC and mail to PO Box 958, Cokato, MN 55321.
Donations can also be made as monthly automatic withdrawals or anonymously to the DCRISC account at the Cokato State Bank.
There is an online “donate now” payment option on the DCRISC website.
Pledges of in-kind labor or services are also welcome, as well as the donation of personal assets such as stocks and personal property.