Bio: Anason, Joe - Receive Bandstand Project Donation (2018)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Anason, Woolf
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 12/26/2018
Local Boy Scout Secures Final Donation for Project (Bandstand – 18 December 2018)
Local Boy Scout Secures Final Donation for Project
Joe Anason (right) receives his final Eagle Scout service project donation from Mike Woolf of Truck Country while standing on the new band stage in Schuster Park. The funds will allow Joe to take care of some finishing touches in the spring. (Kyle VonRuden/Clark County Press)
By Kyle VonRuden
As the holiday shopping season winds down, many of us are still racking our brains to come with the perfect gift ideas for the people we love. Sometimes, however, a simple check can be the greatest gift of all.
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, local boy scout Joe Anason received the final donation for his Eagle Scout community service project. The three-year effort culminated in the construction of a new bandstand in Schuster Park.
The crowning contribution – a $2,800 check from Truck Country – was presented to Joe by company representative Mike Woolf. Truck Country is a regional business specializing in heavy duty truck sales and service.
Joe attained Life Scout rank in 2015 with Troop 43 of Neillsville, the second highest level attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. In order to advance to the highest rank of Eagle Scout, he had just under three years to meet all the requirements, the most important being the community service project. He began scouring the area for ideas and quickly identified an opportunity.
“At the time, they had just put on Heritage Days, and every year they bring in a band and put up a temporary stage,” he explained. So, I figured, ‘why don’t we have a permanent stage?’ If you go to other parks in Granton, Greenwood, Marshfield, they all have bandstands. It was something that was missing in the community.”
Once the Heritage Days Committee blessed the project and Joe received approval from the city, he had to start a fundraising campaign. He had never undertaken a project of this scale and admits he didn‘t know quite what to expect.
“When I began, I figured I just needed to get money, find contractors and get the stage built, all before I turned 18,” Joe said. “But once I got into fundraising, I started to get a better sense of all the work that would be required.”
Joe announced his project idea during the 2017 Heritage Days, where he set up an information booth and sought small contributions from attendees. He also applied for grant funds from local foundations and sought support from Neillsville businesses.
“I ended up with over 30 sponsors for this project,” he said, taking a moment to tally them up in his head. “One of the big fundraisers took place in September at Strike Time Lanes, and they’ve been a big help since I started. I’m grateful for all the support in the community.
The donation from Truck Country pushed the fundraising total just north of $33.000. Despite a few blueprint changes that pushed up the original budget, Joe still came away with a little bit more than he needed. The extra money will allow him to paint the steel support beams and install commemorative plaques when the weather warms up.
Joe is a senior at Neillsville High School and will begin college in the fall. He intends to focus on entrepreneurship and finance, and he knows that what he learned from this project will serve him well in the classroom and in life.
“I got to see up close how construction actually works,” he said, “as well as all the different aspects of organizing and leading teams for fundraising. And I built relationships with a lot of different companies, so I also learned a lot about the business side of things. It was just a great experience.”
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