Local fundraisers to provide entertainment this weekend

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Minneapolis band Jonah and the Whales will play at Lakeside Ballroom on Friday, July 31, as part of a fundraising effort for the Guttenberg swimming pool. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg area residents will have the opportunity to contribute to two fundraisers this weekend, with entertainment at Lakeside Ballroom on Friday, July 31, and an Alzheimer’s walk in the park on Saturday morning. 

Remember the Summer 2015 is a dance featuring music by Minneapolis band Jonah and the Whales to raise money to support the Wave of the Future fund for the Guttenberg Swimming Pool. Tickets to the event are $5 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Guttenberg Swimming Pool and the city office in the municipal building. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with musical entertainment to begin at 8:00 p.m. and carry on through 12:00 midnight. Door prizes will be presented at 9:30 p.m.

To date, over $142,000 has been pledged toward the project and nearly all of that collected. The city’s public works department cleaned out city buildings over the winter and sold many unneeded items during citywide garage sales in May. That sale, and the sale of salvage in Luana, raised $8,251. “These funds make the current balance in the designated pool fund account (separate from any other city general fund or other account) $142,003.23,” said City Manager Mary Willett. The goal is to have necessary funds raised by 2017 and be ready to begin demolition when the pool closes that fall.

Willett’s brother, Donald Mackey, is leading both fundraisers this weekend. "Over the course of the past year, I’ve followed along in The Press on the swimming pool fundraising effort,” Mackey told The Press. He and his wife, Carole, wanted to remind residents of “all the lessons, laps, and generally good times that most of us had at the pool.”

Jonah and the Whales has become a Twin Cities music staple, playing rock, techno, pop, top-40 and classic hits with costumes, spot-on impersonations, visual effects, and a concert-quality sound and light show. The band even boasts a cowbell choir.  Sponsorships are being sought to help cover the cost of the musical entertainment for the event. Businesses or individuals interested in event sponsorship should call Mackey at (563)252-2007. 

Saturday morning will arrive early after an evening of entertainment at Remember the Summer 2015. Registration for the Alzheimer’s walk begins in Riverside (Rotary) Park, just south of Clayton Ridge High School, at 7:30 a.m.  Joan Eulberg, a volunteer with Forget Me Not Alzheimer Support Group in Guttenberg, will kick off the walk with a short presentation at 8:20 a.m., and the walk will commence at 8:30 a.m.  Walkers will proceed either north or south (their choice) through the park to the marinas on either end of town and then loop back to the registration location. 

Mackey became involved with the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) after several family members were diagnosed with the disease. “Experiencing the progression of the disease with loved ones touched me very deeply,” he said. Mackey has been involved in the Alzheimer’s walk in Spokane, Wash., for four years and was the grand champion fundraiser for the event in 2014. 

There is no cost to sign up for the walk. Participants will receive a purple ribbon at registration on which they may write the name(s) of loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s. Walkers may carry their ribbons during the walk and then tie them to the fence at Riverside Park at the conclusion of the event.  The first 100 participants will receive a balloon from Blooming Branches of Guttenberg, who will also supply the ribbons. Participants may order a T-shirt by contacting Nancy McClellan at nancyjo@alpinecom.net, or online by searching for the Alzheimer’s Walk in the Park at Guttenberg event on Facebook. 

Walkers who feel compelled to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Association may solicit donations from friends and family to support their participation in the walk. Funds raised should be deposited in the Guttenberg "Walk in the Park" account at Fidelity Bank & Trust in Guttenberg.  A representative from the Dubuque chapter of the Alzheimers Association will be in attendance on Saturday and will have additional information on donations.

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