BROOK — At the Brook Civic Foundation fundraiser Oct. 26, it was announced the cause has kicked off with more than $50,000 in cash donations and multiple-year pledges.
A few months ago, the Brook Civic Foundation was formed and has joined up with the Jasper Newton Foundation to help raise funds for the upkeep of the Brook High School Gymnasium, which is now called the Brook Community Center.
The 12-year goal for the Brook Civic Foundation is to raise $500,000.
“Our Foundation was created with the understanding that all donations will remain in the foundation and allowed to grow for at least 12 years whereupon an annual grant will then be awarded to the town from the interest earned annually to supplement the funding they provide for the operation and maintenance of the facility,” said Irvin Latta, who helped create the foundation and also gave the opening remarks of the fundraiser dinner. “The Brook Civic Foundation will begin with an advisory board of three local supporters, Nancy Joe Prue, Jerry Johnson, and MariAnn Weishaar. I believe the three of them wholeheartedly support the project and will be good stewards for the Foundation as it moves forward.”
Despite the pouring rain, the fundraiser catered by Hazelden had a good crowd with 63 paid reservations.
“I think with the help of the Town Board and the speakers from Saturday that we have shown the community that the gym is definitely worth preserving,” said Weishaar. “Yes, it needs some work but the building is structurally sound, per KJG Architecture who examined the building and all of its plumbing and electrical systems. The survey conducted by the Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Commission overwhelmingly showed that the area residents want to keep this building. The survey also provided us with great ideas on uses for the gym. We have the support of the Town Board as Matt Beasley said in his remarks. The Brook Civic Foundation will be planning future events to continue to raise money to help the town preserve this building.”
Guest speakers at the fundraiser included Beasley, John Paquay of KJG Architecture. Edwin Buswell of KIRPC, and Brienne Hooker, Jasper Newton Foundation Executive Director.
The featured speaker was Amanda Rumba, Ivy Tech Faculty, and Purdue Ph.D. Candidate.
“The speakers were all were perfect for the occasion,” added Latta. “Our banquet was more than I had expected. With the help of the speakers, I believe the message of the evening resonated with the group.”