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Excel! Estherville breaks $100,000 goal

By Staff | May 1, 2008

Estherville Mayor Lyle Hevern, Chris McArdle of KILR radio, Jen Sievert, and Jodie Greig unveiled the contributors who helped raise more than $100,000 in 100 days for Excel! Estherville. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

If the first challenge is any indication, Excel! Estherville should be in for a great success.

The community development group beat its goal of raising $100,000 in 100 days, reaching a total of 104,181.38. On hand to celebrate the milestone in Library Square in Estherville Wednesday were members of the Excel! Estherville leadership committee, downtown businesspeople, and the general pubic.

“Excel! Estherville evolved during 2007 through a coming together of a wide range of community members charged with the challenge of developing a roadmap for Estherville’s future,” said Bill Bumgarner, a member of the Excel! Estherville leadership committee.

“Following many meetings and a diligent effort, eight overarching goals and over 30 strategies were developed … clearly focused on enhancing the quality of life for all our citizens. Now we are engaged in the work of implementing this broad-based plan. Success will require an unprecedented level of investment … in both volunteer time and project funding.”

“Today we join together to share two important announcements regarding the progress of the Excel! Estherville initiative,” Bumgarner said.

Bumgarner introduced Estherville Mayor and leadership committee member Lyle Hevern who announced that the campaign had raised $104,181.38.

“The success of the $100,000 in 100 Days Campaign clearly shows the breadth of support for the Excel! Estherville strategic plan project,” Hevern said. “It is a testament to the desire of our community to accept the challenge of making Estherville the best it can be.”

“We are so proud of the business and community members who rose to the challenge to once more give away some of their income to make Estherville a better place to live, work and play,” Hevern said. “The folks who donated deserve our enthusiastic and heartfelt thank you.”

The Excel! Estherville leadership committee also announced a new initiative on Wednesday — to recruit 100 volunteers in 100 days to staff the committees that will prioritize and implement strategic plan objectives.

“The objective from the beginning has been to engage the whole of our community in this effort,” said city councilperson and leadership committee member Sue Nelson. “Plan success will be directly related to the commitment and perseverance of a large base of volunteers.”

“The goal has always been to engage as many in the community in this effort as possible,” Nelson said. “Implementing of the over 30 specific identified strategies will require the efforts of many in our community — an unprecedented commitment and perseverance from a large base of volunteers.”

Nelson said community members can volunteer by accessing the Estherville Chamber of Commerce Web site at http://www.estherville.org/ and following the directions in the Excel! Estherville section of the Web page. Community members can also call the Chamber office at 712-362-3541 to volunteer.

There will be an informational and committee kickoff party 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 in the breakfast room of the Estherville Sleep Inn & Suites for community members who are interested in volunteering for an Excel! Estherville committee. Committee chairpersons will be introduced at the event and information will be shared about the focus of the various committees.

Contributors to the $100,000 in 100 Days Campaign were Aero Race Wheels, Aquila, Asmus Farm Supply, Avera Holy Family Health, Avera Home Medical Equipment, Bank Plus, Randy and Norma Beaver, Blum & Leonard Agency, Brinkman & Reed CPAs, Drs. Bruns and Williams, Bill and Karen Bumgarner, Burrell Painting, Campus Cleaners, Christensen Construction, Comfortec, Dakota Pack, Dave’s Brown House Kitchens, Daybreak Foods, Edward Jones Investments, Estherville Industrial Development Corporation, Emmet County, Emmet County State Bank, Employees Credit Union, Estherville Aviation, Estherville Building Center, Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Estherville, Estherville Daily News, Estherville Foods, Estherville Golf Course, Estherville Kiwanis, Estherville Paint & Glass, Estherville Printing, Estherville Rotary, Fitzgibbons Law Firm, and Forest Ridge Youth Services.

Also contributing to the $100,000 in 100 day effort were Forsyth Law Office, GKN Armstrong Wheels, Keith Godfrey, Good Samaritan Center, Grand Buffet, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Greig & Company, Gene and Avis Haukoos, Heartland Americana, Heartland Transport, Henry-Olson Funeral Home, Mark and Collette Heywood, Holiday Express, Houseman Oil, Hy-Vee, Jacobson-Westergard & Associates, KILR, Dick and Jan Lund, Mother Nature’s, John and Sue Nelson, NorthStar Bank, Northwest Federal Savings Bank, Pelzer Law Firm, Peterson Insurance Agency, Racine’s for Him & Her, Riverview Golf Course, James Rosendahl, Roy’s Auto, Richard Scott, George and Judy Shadle, Sievert’s Furniture & Floors, Sleep Inn & Suites, Steve’s Sales & Service, Sunrise Senior Housing, Super 8, Valley Contracting, Wash House Laundromat, and Wittneben Surveying.

Contributions to the campaign are still being accepted and should be directed to the attention of Excel! Estherville. They can be mailed to or dropped off at the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce at 620 First Ave. S. Personal contributions will be processed as a tax deductible donation through the Estherville Community Betterment Fund, which is a fund established through the Emmet County Foundation.

The Excel! Estherville strategic plan includes eight overarching goals and more than 30 specific strategies. It was developed over a several month period during 2007 drawing on a wide range of community input such as personal interviews, an on-line community survey, and a plan development working group.

The strategic plan’s primary focus is on goals that encompass housing opportunities, visual attractiveness, community diversity, business and marketing relationships, growing existing business, attracting new business, local identity/promotion activities, and area tourism/recreation. This includes developing a long-term financial plan to support implementation of community betterment initiatives.