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Pioneer Church fundraising underway

Funding efforts to add heat, air conditioning and lighting to the Pioneer Church building at Frontier Village are underway, according to the Frontier Village Association board.

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Nellie Degen, left, president of Frontier Village Association, welcomes Mona Elsner, a new board member following the organization's regular meeting on Thursday. Tom LaVenture / The Sun

Funding efforts to add heat, air conditioning and lighting to the Pioneer Church building at Frontier Village are underway, according to the Frontier Village Association board.

In her report Thursday, Tina Busche, secretary-treasurer, said the Frontier Village opening day will be May 26, with the first shootout performance there from the Wild West Players on May 27. The Wild West Players will have concessions in the amphitheater area, a bake sale and rummage sale to kick off its $20,000 fundraising goal for the Pioneer Church project.

The May 27 event will also feature performances by Brianna Helbling, a 16-year-old country and pop singer from Mandan, N.D., who will be sponsored by FVA Board member Charley Tanata.

Busche said the Pioneer Church project has now raised $197 from a fundraiser and received a $1,500 donation as part of the Pioneer Church Memorial from Becky Pergotski and Jennifer Woiwode in the name of the Kenneth Lange family.

Patrons of Jamestown Applebee’s can take part in the Dining to Donate partnership from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday, May 8, Busche said. Twenty percent of the bill will be donated to the Pioneer Church project, she said.

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A shoe fundraiser now underway has proceeds earned going to the Pioneer Church project, Busch said. The community is invited to donate shoes in wearable condition to be cleaned and distributed by an organization to homeless people, safe shelters and people of impoverished nations. To donate, contact Busche at 320-2725 or FVA Manager Nichole Mosolf at 320-3028.

Other FVA donations include Gayne and Corrine Gasal, who contributed $1,000 toward the goat fence repairs.

Searle Swedlund, Jamestown Tourism executive director, was present to discuss the grant and capital construction application process. While the Jamestown Tourism budget has not increased significantly in five years, the organization has until now done its best to maintain funding to organizations, he said.

It will no longer be sustainable to support staffing and non-experience-related requests at current levels, Swedlund said. The amount that is requested for building maintenance from Jamestown Tourism is also not sustainable, he said.

“The budget is not growing as quickly as we want and we need to think creatively and strategically about granting money,” Swedlund said.

Discussion continued on the 2017 capital construction grant request to Jamestown Tourism in March to shingle the general store and depot building. There was no FVA board member present at the Jamestown Tourism Grant and Executive Committee meeting to field questions, and no action was taken on the request.

FVA Board President Nellie Degen said the board will be submitting a letter of appeal to Jamestown Tourism to reconsider taking action on the grant request prior to the October funding cycle.

The FVA Board welcomed its newest member, Mona Elsner, who was elected in March. The lifelong Jamestown resident said she volunteers frequently but the FVA is her first board membership.

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“Frontier Village has been part of my life and I have enjoyed coming here many times and going through the buildings and taking my family to the Halloween events,” Elsner said.

Following the meeting, the board met with Frontier Village lease holders individually to discuss matters prior to offering new leases for seasonal business to Tanata, Deb Lee and Jill Riffe.

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