In early June, The Friends of the River Bend Trail announced the official kickoff of a fundraising campaign to complete the interior of the new pavilion under renovation by Agra Industries, more specifically; $20,000 for an all-season restroom.
According to organization co-chair Greg Hartwig, the fundraising target is $20,000; having raised just over $4,000 in donations thus far.
The organization recently received $1,000 from the Merrill Fire Fighter’s charities, along with a $2,000 donation from Marshfield Clinic earlier this summer. An additional $1,000 has been donated by various community members.
Once the fundraising goal has been reached, the organization will focus on phase 2 of the project, which will entail a fully functional kitchen, heating system as well as the remainder of the interior. Hartwig indicates phase 2 will come with an estimated price tag of $106,000.
As further means to assist with fundraising efforts, the Friends of The River Bend trail recently began selling calendars; comprised of photos submitted by community members as part of a contest in May.
Over 200 submissions were received at the culmination of the contest, at which point a panel of four judges selected the 12 photos to be used. Winners were: Sharon Anderson, Hartwig, Leslie Brown, Marty Anderson, Kelly O’Day, Kathryn Gartmann, Caroline Meehean, Beth Kautz, Leah Zastrow, Sarah Williams and Erik Pfantz.
Calendars went on sale late last month, and are now available for $10 each at Johnsons of Merrill, First Street Coffee Station, Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce, Courtside Furniture and Ace Hardware.
Friends of the River Bend Trail will also be on hand downtown Thursday selling calendars during Crazy Daze. The Friends of the River Bend Trail would like to thank all of those who made photo submissions to the contest as well as Reindl Printing of Merrill, for their generous assistance with organizing and printing the calendars.
Another recent donation to the trail itself, was a “Little Library” located at the trailhead on Park Street; built and donated by Tim Meehean of Merrill.
“We saw a photo of one of Tim’s libraries and we thought it would be a great idea to add one to the trailhead,” Hartwig said. “We asked Tim if he would build one for us and we would purchase the materials. Tim generously agreed to not only build one for the trail but to also purchase the materials. We feel it has been a great addition to the trailhead and can’t thank Tim enough for what he has done for the trail.”
Hartwig would like to add the library works as a “give and take” source for free access for the community, to various books. Community members are welcome to donate and drop off any books they no longer have use for, as well as community members being welcomed to pick up any books they may be interested in.
The Friends of the River Bend Trail are continuing to accept pavilion donations. Donations should be labeled for their purpose of donating to the Pavilion restrooms, and can be dropped off at the Merrill Chamber of Commerce located at 705 N. Center Ave.