The community of Manning came together for a conversation on Wednesday night, with a focus on brainstorming project ideas. Moderator of the event, Ron Reischl, asked everyone to write down what projects they would like to see completed if they were trustees of $500, $5,000, $50,000 and $500,000 in donations. It soon became clear that there was a motive for these questions as the community recently received some very sizable donations and grants. Bill and Phyllis Opperman have donated $5,000 for benches and trash receptacles downtown. The Masonic Lodge donated $5,000 for pillar lights in downtown that will be created by Puck Custom Enterprises and feature each iconic image from Manning’s branding. The Trestle Park project is one that has drawn in a lot of interest and money, and a very well-known local family has decided to support the new attraction. Keith Kerkhoff, co-founder of Templeton Rye, spoke on behalf of the whole family as they presented the city with $75,000 for the Meryl and Imelda Kerkhoff Family Shelter House. Kerkhoff said it is all about giving back to the community.
He adds, this was when he thought about leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren. President of the Main Street Manning Board of Directors, Jeff Blum, was also there to talk about another $75,000 coming into the community.
They weren’t done yet with the announcements, Reischl had another surprise for attendees.
Reischl has been at the forefront of fundraising for several years in Manning, and has also brought forth a generous offer. He made a $10,000 donation for artwork at Trestle Park, and is willing to up the ante if the community receives a grant. City Administrator, Dawn Meyer, has applied for another Great Places $30,000 matching grant. And if they get the award and the dollars already donated don’t meet the requirements, Reischl said he will add another $10,000. So in total, the community has received about $570,000 in gifts and grants, and not a dime of it came from taxation on the residents.
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