The Chippewa Area History Center’s fundraising campaign has reached $1 million, the first major milestone during its trek toward a $3.5 million goal.
For the final push to $1 million, the campaign can thank the authors of “Lake Wissota: A Dam Story,” who donated the book’s proceeds—a total of $35,000, so far—to the effort.
The book’s authors, Donna Bourget, Anne Keller and Jim Schuh, volunteer for the Chippewa County Historical Society.
The campaign’s co-chairperson, Bob Hogseth, said the book has begun its second print run, and all future proceeds will be donated to fundraising efforts. “Lake Wissota: A Dam Story” was released in 2017 to commemorate the lake’s 100th anniversary.
“We’re going to start construction when we hit $2.5 million,” Hogseth said at the buildings’ future site Friday.
“We’ve have some nice surprise (donations),” added the campaign’s other co-chairperson, Wendy Sullivan, also a Historical Society volunteer.
Public fundraising began in September; Hogseth said he hopes the campaign will reach the next benchmark of $2.5 million in the summer or fall of 2018, with a long-term goal of a grand opening in 2020.
Campaign representatives recently appeared before the Chippewa Falls City Council, requesting the city consider a $10,000 recurring contribution. With the center’s location within walking distance of Irvine Park, Leinie Lodge, the fairgrounds and downtown Chippewa Falls, the center would increase tourism and visitors to the area, they said.
The center would sit directly next to Irvine Park and across from the Bernard F. Willi Pool, at 12 Bridgewater Avenue.
The Center would include spaces for genealogy research and accessible photo archives—two things essential for the community, Sullivan said.
To see designs and read more about the proposed Chippewa Area History Center, visit www.chippewaareahistorycenter.org.