From the Mayor 04/06/16

Reprinted with permission from the Independence Daily Reporter

Hardly a week goes by without someone stopping me to say something like, “Independence is not a wealthy city; we used to be rich, but now we’re poor. We need to quit acting like we’re rich when we’re not.” 

Okay, you’ve finally convinced me that the Independence of the past was even richer than the Independence of today.  But we clearly have a wealth of very generous people. It seems like every time I hear of a group in town raising money, they always have great success. Whether it’s the dodgeball tournament, a ham and bean supper, or prom bingo night, folks turn out to support the effort. Most towns don’t have a Main Street organization at all, but our Main Street fundraiser was a sellout this year. Many smaller cities can’t keep their Chamber of Commerce active, while the Independence Chamber is one of the most active I’ve ever seen, and their annual gala was also a sellout. And, who ever heard of a Catholic church that can raise money like St. Andrews? Neither Annie nor I have ever seen anything like it.

If there’s a more generous city than Independence, I’ve yet to see it.

And if you want an example this week of generous giving, look no further than the Logan Fountain.

Friday night will be a great opportunity for the entire city to bask in the glow of an amazing job well done.

Logan Fountain is the stuff that memories are made of. People who grew up here remember the beauty and the color. FORPAZ had barely completed raising $60,000 for our new playground equipment (which is amazing) when the park staff started their next project, raising about a quarter million dollars for a complete overhaul of Logan Fountain. It’s truly incredible how a team of very dedicated fund raisers, donors, and contractors have made this renovation a reality. It is wonderful that now, future generations of kids in Indy are going to grow up with memories of our beautiful fountain again.

Who should we thank for our beautiful new fountain? Obviously, Barb Beurskens and Rachel Lyon had a major leadership role. Lori Kelley of FORPAZ and Leslie Coder of the Park Board had leading roles as well. Money was donated by more than 200 people, with donations ranging from a couple dollars to many thousands. Although every gift was very much appreciated, extremely generous donations were given by Tom and Deborah Schroeder, Ray Woods, Jim Ransbottom, Jana Kay Shaver, and Arch Sherwood.

Besides the cash donations, we also had donations of materials and labor. Our high performance custom spray nozzles were built and donated by Chris Moore and the team at SEKTAM. Also, we owe a big “thank you” to Woods Lumber, TranSystems, TC Underground, TLC Nursery, AC Electric, Hofer & Hofer, TMC Construction, Wayne Sundquist of Eric’s Plumbing, Westar Energy, and Independence Ready Mix for their generous contributions of materials and labor.

Come out Friday night; I promise that I’ll hardly talk at all (okay, that’s probably a lie). First Equity Bank will be donating and serving dinner for all fountain donors beginning at 6:00, and they will serve others beginning at 7:00, at least until the food runs out. Brent Littleton of Dairy Queen is donating ice cream cake for all.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 7:45 p.m.

Come and celebrate.

Mayor Gary Hogsett