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Fundraising Going Strong for Keokuk Depot

Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation has embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign in an attempt to land a six-figure grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation.

The Jeffris Family Foundation is based in Janesville, Wis.  It awarded the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation a challenge grant of $333,000 to restore the depot's roof.

There is one condition: a $667,000 local match is required, thus the Depot 125 Capital Campaign.

President Janet Smith says the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation has until September 30, 2017 to raise the money.

"Our goal, however, is to raise it by July 1, 2016 because that is the 125th anniversary of the depot," said Smith.

Smith says the silent phase of the fundraising campaign was a success, bringing in more than $225,000.

"We will continue to talk to individuals, businesses, foundations, the state, (and the) national government about grants for the project," said Smith.

Smith says the campaign will be pushed online and through social media to find former residents and train enthusiasts who are willing to help the depot.

This grant and local match will be used to restore the roof.  The rest of the project includes restoring the building to its original design, upgrading the HVAC and plumbing systems, and better utilizing the unused space.

The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation says the depot, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1891.

Donations can be mailed to:

Keokuk Union Depot Foundation
P.O. Box 463
Keokuk, IA 52632

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.