Two volunteers with experience in fundraising along with a dedication to the Star Spangled Spectacular (SSS) have taken the reins of the annual fund raising campaign for Storm Lake's biggest citywide celebration.
They are Josh Newhouse and Barb Anderson, who this year succeed fundraising co-chairmen Craig Fratzke and Dick Hakes. The latter pair had logged about 15 years in the fund raising position.
The campaign is no open.
Each year, local volunteers spend most of June collecting donations to cover expenses for the annual July Fourth extravaganza in Storm Lake parks. Those expenses include special parade entries, live music, musicians, storytellers, other entertainers and of course the giant fireworks display which concludes the festivities. No public admission is charged for all of the entertainment, thanks to nearly 500 generous donors who contribute each year prior to the celebration.
Newhouse and Anderson will continue a fundraising program which includes a letter-writing campaign and personal contacts. The two were co-workers at one time in the development office at Buena Vista University, where Anderson is still employed as donor relations and special events coordinator. For the past three years, Newhouse has been a financial associate for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
Both have a fondness for the Spectacular and for Storm Lake. Anderson and her husband, Ed, served as commodores for the SSS celebration in 2003. She also served on fund raising committees for the Awaysis Project. Newhouse has been on the SSS steering committee for the past six years, is a member of the Faith Hope and Charity board and is also president-elect of the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce.
"The Spectacular is a signature event for Storm Lake that a lot of people are happy to support," said Newhouse. "We've been given a somewhat higher drive goal this year, $27,000, and we'll like our donors to help us by convincing their neighbors and friends to contribute along with them. If we could just get 100 more people to give us $25, that would probably put us very near our goal this year."
Anderson agrees, calling the SSS a "great community-builder" for Storm Lake. "I've always had a fondness for this celebration," she says. "We've attended it as a family from the beginning and my family still comes home for it. But what people need to realize from a fund-raising standpoint is that although our drive total hasn't changed much, expenses have gone up considerably over the years."
As in past years, the two co-chairs are beginning to gear up for the campaign kickoff during the first week of June. They will be working closely with Rick and Kim Martin, this year's commodores who are currently finalizing plans for this year's SSS under the theme "Patriotic Pride."
Fratzke and Hakes, who said they felt it was time for "fresh talent" to take charge of SSS fundraising, expressed appreciation to Storm Lake area donors who supported the celebration over their years of service. "We know Barb and Josh will do a terrific job and that the Spectacular will remain in good shape financially through their efforts," said Fratzke.