Organizers are ahead of schedule in their effort to raise the money needed to match a grant that would help pay for a new roof for the Keokuk Union Depot. Debbie Marion, who chairs the Keokuk Union Depot Commission and serves on the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, said more than $330,000 has already been pledged after less than a year of fundraising.
"We started last September actually fundraising with pledges and actual donations," said Marion. "I think we have more than $200,000 in actual cash in the bank and we have (more than) $330,000 in pledges. We feel like we are doing very good."
The commission was given a three year deadline, until September 2017, to raise $667,000 to use as the local match to receive a $333,000 donation from the Jeffris Family Foundation out of Janesville, Wisconsin.
Marion said the goal is to wrap up the fundraising campaign much sooner.
"On July 1, 2016, it will be our 125th anniversary," said Marion. "That's the reason this campaign has been named 'Depot 125.' We're hoping we have pledges in hand (by then) for the $667,000."
Marion said the new roof, which will cost about $1-million, will be built to meet historic standards. She said once the local match has been secured, the work can get underway immediately.
"In all reality, we could have the roof completed by September 2017," said Marion. "So that would be awesome."
Despite the planned roof improvements, the depot remains open for receptions, reunions and concerts. Marion said there will be a number of fundraising events connected to the upcoming 125th Anniversary.