June 25, 2017

The Will to Do — The Soul to Dare

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures, Updates at 9:46 pm by stonebankblog

Zoink! It has been 45 years since the Class of ’72 graduated — and today it turns out that our class motto has stood the test of time. In fact, it seems that our motto is also the perfect slogan for the Stone Bank project.

Class of '72 Challenge

It still works! Our class motto is also a good slogan for the Stone Bank project.

Class of '72 Challenge with yearbook photos

Jacalyn Larson and Leland Larshus graduated in 1972 from Bottineau High.

Brian Zahn, a member of the Class of '72

Brian Zahn, Class of ’72, still styling in 2017.

In the final days of June, we have the “soul to dare” that we can raise some matching funds to continue work on the Stone Bank this summer.

We are challenging all the members of the Class of ’72 to make a donation to the Stone Bank project — to help get the back of the building enclosed this year.

And we are asking all BHS grads to step up and also make a contribution in 2017, too.

The budget to enclose the back of the building is roughly $54,000. We have a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND that we need to match by June 30.

Can you help?

If we don’t match the grant, we leave that money on the table. That’s why we are asking for your donations by Friday.

You can give online with a credit card by using Go Fund Me.

Did You Know?

Saving historic buildings makes economic sense?

Indeed, in late 2016 a team from Smart Growth American toured Bottineau and met with community leaders to discuss a vision for Bottineau’s future development.

Smart Growth works with communities across the U.S.  to improve everyday life with better development.

After its visit to Bottineau, it offered six recommendations to help Bottineau remain a vibrant and growing community.

Its #1 recommendation is to preserve Bottineau’s historic buildings.

The gist is this.

We are not crazy optimists – we are ahead of the curve!  The Smart Growth report mentioned the Stone Bank project as something to invest in. Check out the details on our blog.

A gift to this project will leave a lasting mark in Bottineau.

The Stone Bank was built in 1900 by pioneers. We want to repair and restore it to last another century.

When a lot of people give a little each, it adds up quickly.  We are asking all BHS grads to have the will to do and the soul to dare to help turn the Stone Bank into a useful, restored building on Main Street.

YES. USEFUL!

We are adding a handicap entrance at the back of the building — so it will accommodate everyone when it is complete.

Please join us and make a gift today.

Another Way You Can Help

Share this post with your friends and family.

We haven’t been able to reach all of our Class of ’72 classmates. Bev Waters is someone we would like to reconnect with. If you’re in touch with her, please share this blog post with her.

As you know, people move on. They leave ND, and we lose touch. So, help us reconnect, if you can.

These photos are from the 1972 yearbook — which in its day broke some new ground.

Let’s break some ground together in 2017 and successfully restore one of Bottineau’s coolest buildings.  Please join the Class of ’72 in putting the Stone Bank back together again!

You can mail a check to: Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

Class of '72 Challenge with a photo of graduation night

Joe Whetter, center, served in the Marines after high school and he is doing the heavy lifting on the Stone Bank as our stone mason.

We know that everyone from the Girl Scouts to your church asks for donations. We get it.

But imagine the pride you will have in the Stone Bank when it reopens as an office, a store or a coffee shop in the next couple of years. Your gift will create a lasting legacy to future generations of Bottineau residents. Give today. Our fundraising deadline for this grant is Friday, June 30.

PRESERVATION ROCKS!

LET’S ROCK THIS CHALLENGE!

 

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June 7, 2017

We aren’t crazy optimists; We’re ahead of the curve!

Posted in Bottineau, Endangered buildings, Fundraising, Main Street, Photos, Updates tagged , , , , , , at 12:14 am by stonebankblog

Restoring a landmark in ND. The Stone Bank

Sharon Kessler and Joe Whetter are spearheading the effort to return the Stone Bank to use. It was built in 1900 with stones carried to North Dakota by glaciers.

Joe Whetter and I were classmates at Bottineau High, but we didn’t know each other well. I am not sure we ever spoke in high school. But for the past six years, we have talked a lot about and worked to restore and repurpose a beautiful stone building on Bottineau’s Main Street that we now call the Stone Bank.

Joe, a stone mason, has done the heavy lifting – lending his know-how and strength to the project. Me? I  write grant proposals, do  fundraising and lead the board of a nonprofit dedicated to repairing the Stone Bank.

Our goal is to retain the building’s historic character while making it useful for another 100 years.

Since 2011, we have encountered asbestos, a very leaky roof and a crumbling back wall. Joe dismantled the back 20 feet of the building so we could put in a new foundation and rebuild the back.

We have worked with architects, historians and community members to meet this challenge – and it has taken time to raise the money to help us move the project along.

Fast forward to 2017. Smart Growth America, a D.C. nonprofit, says we are not crazy optimists – we are ahead of the curve!

Smart Growth works across the U.S. with elected officials, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, urban and rural planners and community groups and leaders in D.C. to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.

In 2016, a Smart Growth team visited Bottineau, toured the community and surrounding area and met community leaders to help craft a vision for Bottineau’s future development. The resulting report offered six recommendations to help Bottineau remain a vibrant and growing community.

Guess what?

The No. 1 recommendation was “restore and repurpose historic structures for community revitalization.” Read the Smart Growth report.

The Smart Growth report specifically cites the Stone Bank Project and its slow progress because of “a lack of funds.” So, there you have it.

A great idea. A work in progress.

A lack of funds.

 

 

Yearbook Bottineau ND Stone Bank

The Class of ’72 yearbook cover broke new ground with an abstract image of the Bottineau High entrance by our classmate Morris McKnight.

Forty-five years ago, the Class of ’72 graduated with eyes trained on the future. Now, honoring the past can be our legacy.

We are asking our high school classmates to lend a hand in the Stone Bank restoration. No heavy lifting involved. We are challenging each of our classmates to contribute $100 (or whatever you can give) to help pay for enclosing the new basement.

By June 30, we need to make a dollar-for-dollar match of a $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota. If we can’t raise the match, we leave some part of the money for reconstruction on the table.

And we want other BHS grads to join the effort. Let’s see which class can move the most stone. Rock on!

All donations go straight to the project, and your donation will make a difference in 2017. In total, we only need to raise $53,000 (including $20k from the state) to enclose the building. Can you help?

Time is of the essence if we hope to claim the full $20,000 grant from the Historical Society of ND.

We have started a Go Fund Me campaign for online giving. Or you can mail a check to Touchstones.Inc. (The Stone Bank Project), PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

We also accept gifts by PayPal.

Does your employer match your charitable gifts?

Touchstones is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit – so your gift is tax deductible AND eligible for an employer match.

Please, make a donation today.  If you love Bottineau and its historic buildings, today is the day to show your support. Your gift WILL make a difference.

Thank you.

Sharon Kessler, a cockeyed optimist from the BHS Class of ’72