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!

 

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

April 3, 2017

It’s time to finish this…

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Life, Main Street, Photos, Pictures, Promotions/Contests, Recommended Reading, Renovation, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:29 pm by stonebankblog

Let’s face it. WE are living in historic times! It was a winter of historic snowfall in Bottineau, but our friend Spring is finally pushing the snow into memory. It’s time to seize the moment and get back to the important work of enclosing the Stone Bank.

Of course, it’s always about the bottom line. That’s the challenge. And we are asking our classmates in the BHS Class of ’72 to lead the way. How? It’s easy.

front window

We are challenging each member of the Class of ’72 to donate $100 to restoring the Stone Bank. We have lost five classmates far too young, and it would be marvelous if each of us donated in memory of those friends as well.

Those $100 donations would bring $7,000 to a project that really needs a financial shot in the arm. Together, we can give the project a boost and inspire giving from others with ties to Bottineau.

Why the class of ’72? Good question. Well, two of your classmates have been doing the heavy lifting on this restoration project. Joe Whetter, is a stone mason and an amazing advocate and partner on this project. I (Sharon Kessler) founded a nonprofit, have coordinated fundraising and planning to advance the project since 2011.

Now, we really need your help. It’s easy to give online. You can give by credit card through PayPal, Razoo or GiveMN.

Or you can send a check: Touchstones, Inc., PO Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318

The time is now. We can’t do this alone. We need to make progress on the building in 2017 to keep the structure from deteriorating. It has been open to the elements for a couple of years. We need to show community participation and interest to generate grants — so your contribution really does make a difference. In total, we need to raise $58,000 to enclose the structure. Can you help?

Frankly, we are at a point in life, where many of us are thinking about legacy — the difference we made in the world. The good we will leave behind. This is a great chance for you to help preserve a piece of Bottineau history and make it useful for future generations of those who will call Bottineau home. Your $100 gift added to those of other classmates really will make a difference.

Please make a gift today, so we can move forward with restoring this community treasure. Let’s get this done, together.

sk joe at bank 2

Joe Whetter and Sharon Kessler, BHS Class of ’72

We would love to hear from you. Please send a note, your ideas and memories of Bottineau for the blog to touchstones.inc@gmail.com. Guest blog entries are also welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 12, 2015

We give our max to the Stone Bank Project; will you?

Posted in Fundraising, Promotions/Contests at 12:59 pm by stonebankblog

Let’s make this short and sweeet! GiveMaxLogo

Today is “Give to the Max Day,” which means it’s the day when people all over the Midwest are digging deep into their heart — and budget — to donate as much as they can to the charitable causes that mean the most to them.

We hope the Stone Bank Project will be one of those causes for each of you reading this. Please make a donation today on the Stone Bank Give to the Max page by clicking on the logo or this link.

QuiltNot only is your deduction 100% tax deductible (because we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization), but 100% of it will be matched by our new $20,000 grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota — and 100% of it will help pay for enclosure of our new Stone Bank basement before winter sets in. PLUS, we will enter your name in our Nov. 28 raffle for the beautiful homemade quilt you see here.

So please donate now, before “Give to the Max Day” ends — and we all turn into frozen pumpkins 😉

July 21, 2015

Spark the rebuilding by being the match

Posted in Bottineau, Fundraising, Updates tagged , , , , , at 9:03 am by stonebankblog

We’ve got the right contractor, the best stone mason and a willing plumber. 

What we need now is YOU.

Your donation will help us pay our contractors and provide the financial spark we need to reach our goal of  enclosing the back 20 feet of the Stone Bank this year. 

Can you help? Here’s a newspaper insert we shared last week in our two local papers. If you don’t subscribe, we didn’t want you to feel left out. So here it is. 

  
Your gift will be a match made in heaven! Join us in our effort to save a local landmark! 

Send your check today or follow the links on this page to Razoo or PayPal to make an online donations. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your gift is tax deductible.

We can’t do it without you. 

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!

July 11, 2015

Mud, stone and progress

Posted in Dismantling the back, Fundraising, Photos, Uncategorized, Updates at 5:55 pm by stonebankblog

OK. Sure. It looks like a muddy hole in the ground.

But we look in that hole and see PROGRESS!

Why? Because, dear friends, that black round object in the photo below is a sewage lift pump that has been installed in the Stone Bank’s new basement.  

 

We had to wait through the winter and a very chilly spring to have the pump installed. It has seals that can’t be exposed to extreme cold. And then, we had to wait our turn for a very busy plumber.

But finally. The lift pump is in and we are moving forward.

Here’s what you’re seeing in the photo above: At rear is the original foundation of the Stone Bank building from 1900. The section of the building that we dismantled was sitting on shallow footings — and from the opening at left, there was only a crawl space under the back of the building. At right, you can see the new foundation wall that extends 20 feet from the back of the building. Deep footings and a proper basement are ready to support the building again. With the plumbing roughed in, the work is progressing on finishing the basement floor in poured concrete.

We must complete this part of the project by the end of July to collect a grant from the Historical Society of North Dakota. We need your help to make this happen.

This is the time to make a donation. Every penny donated will go toward rebuilding the back of this wonderful, historic building on Bottineau’s Main Street. 

Make a contribution today. We really need everyone’s support to move this from mud to marvelous!

Send a check to: Touchstones, Inc., P.O. Box 272, Bottineau, ND 58318.

Find our PayPal and Razoo online giving accounts on the side panel of the blog!

Thanks to all of our longtime supporters. If you have been waiting to give. NOW is really a good time.

December 8, 2014

Rockin’ the Beach in a Stone Bank T

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , , at 12:30 am by stonebankblog

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It’s snowing up North (and on our blog), but look! The Stone Bank T-shirt makes excellent beach apparel!

Our friend, Laura, recently took her new PRESERVATION ROCKS shirt to a Florida beach! And she totally ROCKED it!

She has the right idea! The Stone Bank T is charming, lovely and easy to pack. AND it’s a great conversation starter for those chance meeting with a handsome stranger or an old friend.

Still time to get yours for the holidays. Best of all. Your donation of $15 will help us match our grant from the Historical Society of ND and help rebuild the back section of the building in 2015.

We love to post photos of our friends wearing the Stone Bank T. Send yours to touchstones.inc@gmail.com with a few details about the location and we will share it.

You can make a contribution right on this page. Then send us a note about size and color of shirt and we will send it along to you. There are more details and photos on our website. We now have a limited number of long-sleeve shirts, for those who are not getting to the beach this winter.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!

November 18, 2014

Putting the Pieces Together

Posted in Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Photos, Pictures tagged , , , at 11:53 pm by stonebankblog

What’s this? The original Stone Bank puzzle back in action?

Indeed. And “in action” a long, long way from Bottineau. This old Stone Bank puzzle is now entertaining folks (and perhaps puzzling them) at a community center near Phoenix!

Thanks to our friend Jane for sending the photos. We love it when folks near and far offer a hand in fixing the Stone Bank, even if it is only putting the puzzle together.

Want to help? Your contribution will help us rebuild the back 20 feet of the building!

Be like Jane! She recently sent a contribution using the PayPal link on this page. Our mailing address is also in the right column. We would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading the Stone Bank Blog!

Stone Bank, Bottineau, ND

The Stone Bank puzzle is quite different from the competitors for “fixing” in the puzzle closet.

Stone Bank restoration, Bottineau, ND

The Stone Bank puzzle is perplexing folks in a community center in Arizona.

November 8, 2014

Guess what? You can win or buy a LONG-sleeve Stone Bank T-shirt today

Posted in Fundraising, Promotions/Contests, Updates at 11:11 am by stonebankblog

Touchstones Board President is home in Bottineau today at the Fall Craft Show, staffing the Stone Bank table. Help her fill the pickle jar with coins and dollars -- and take a guess on how much will be in there by the end of today. Whoever guesses closest -- online here or in person -- wins one of the new Stone Bank long-sleeve T-shirts, free!

Touchstones Board President Sharon Kessler is home in Bottineau today at the Fall Craft Show, staffing the Stone Bank table. Help her fill the pickle jar with coins and dollars — and take a guess on how much will be in there by the end of today. Whoever guesses closest — online here or in person — wins one of the new Stone Bank long-sleeve T-shirts, free!

Guess how much loose change and dollars our supporters will have put in this pickle jar during today’s Fall Craft Show and win a new long-sleeve Stone Bank T-shirt. Just send a Reply to this post with your guess — or put it on our Facebook page. Whoever guesses closest to the actual amount raised by the end of today will get their choice of shirt — in holiday red or stone grey.

If you want to be sure that you’re a winner, simply use the PayPal button to the right to donate $15, and tell us which color shirt you want us to send you, where. Of course, you can always donate more or less than that, too. Tis the season for giving, and we have to match a generous $20,000 grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota in order to finish constructing the back of the Stone Bank this fall and winter. Thanks for helping — and playing along. Good luck!

November 3, 2014

Fill ‘er up!

Posted in Bottineau, Friends of Stone Bank, Fundraising, Photos, Promotions/Contests, Updates tagged , , at 11:47 pm by stonebankblog

If you’re like me, you hate missing something “interesting.” So, for those of you who don’t subscribe to the Bottineau Courant or the Metigoshe Mirror — here’s an “interesting” ad that we are running in this week’s edition of our local newspapers.

Clint in adOK. Now, we know it’s the HOLIDAY Craft Fair, but let’s not split hairs. Instead, let’s fill Clint’s pickle jar with coins to help restore the Stone Bank. Please drop by and help us fill the jar!  If you can’t make it to Bottineau, you can send us some “coin” by PayPal!

Let’s make this double fun! We’ll also collect your guesses about how much change is donated on Nov. 8. When the coins are counted, the guess closest to the total will win a new Stone Bank T-shirt.

Stop and see us at the Craft Fair. We would love to talk about the progress we’re making on the project.

Thanks to our friend MaryB who created this ad for us! Mary totally rocks!

As always, thanks for reading the Stone Bank blog!

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