Sip & Soar event kicks off campaign with local funding announcements
The community of Wood River had their first chance to learn more about the Stick Creek Kids Child Development Center project at the Sip & Soar craft beer and wine tasting event held on November 16, at the Wood River Community Center. Nearly 100 people attended to learn more about the project. The event was hosted by the Wood River Vision 20/20 group. Beginning nearly a year ago, Wood River Vision 20/20 began exploring the child care demand and caregiver capacity, both now and looking into the future. Responses to a child care survey conducted January 2018 showed 65 households would consider using child care in Wood River if it were available. With evidence of overwhelming demand, Vision’s Child Care Task Force was formed to tackle this shortage head-on. Since then, over 900 volunteer hours have been invested in the project locally. At the recent kickoff event, the leadership team announced a gift of $500,000 from the Grace and Donna Rae Koepp Foundation, and $100,000 from Donna Moyer, as well as grants from the S.N. and Gloria Wolbach Foundation ($15,000), and Cargill Inc. ($30,000). The Thelen family has generously agreed to donate roughly .85 acres of land adjacent to the aquatic center for the center to be built upon. Altogether the project has now raised $822,000 toward the $1.965 million goal. Everyone is encouraged to follow the progress on Facebook at Stick Creek Kids. A fundraising progress chart will also be displayed in the former Peters Hardware building window soon. The next step in moving the child care center dream into a reality is to raise funds to construct the building, fully furnish it, create outdoor play and exploration space, as well as provide grass, landscaping, fencing, sidewalks and a paved parking lot. Several more special events are planned but the majority of the fundraising will take place through individual gifts to the project. Sara (Moyer) Arnett is volunteering as Development Coordinator for the campaign and is available to provide details and answer questions. She can be reached at (308)380-7030 or stickcreekkids@gmail. com. Arnett stated, “Gifts of all shapes and sizes are greatly appreciated so whether you’re a current Wood River resident or just still consider Wood River ‘home,’ we would sincerely appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and earn your support as well.” Arnett explained, “There’s a possibility that we can apply for some additional outside grant funding to move the Stick Creek Kids project from dream to reality. But first, those large foundations want to see broad-based local support. Please contact me and I’ll get a project brochure and pledge form to you to facilitate your investment in this game-changing solution for the future of the Wood River community!” If you would like to learn more about Stick Creek Kids, two more free community events are scheduled for Tuesday, December 4, at 10:00 a.m. and Tuesday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m. These informal sessions will both be held at the Wood River Community Center and will be a chance to learn about this project, its impact for the community, an opportunity to ask questions, and learn how you can be involved.