LYNN HOLZWARTH: ‘Friends’ works to improve Scherr-Howe

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(Editor’s note: the following is the first of a two part column written by Lynn Holzwarth, president of Friends of Scherr-Howe.)

As president of “Friends of Scherr-Howe”, I have been asked to write an article explaining who we are and what our purpose and goals are. Several years ago the mayor and city council formed a committee to help the city improve and restore the city auditorium. The city appropriated money to improve the acoustics, upgrade the sound and lighting system. They also replaced the stage curtains and hired Christine Goldsmith as an event planner to bring entertainment and events to Scherr-Howe. It became evident that the city would need outside funds to complete the improvements and restoration of the murals at this time.

The summer of 2011, I was asked to look into forming a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt foundation to raise funds and apply for grants to complete this work. It was decided that the event planner would be incorporated as part of this foundation. As we did research, we found that there already was a 501 set up called the “Second Century Foundation” which would fit our needs perfectly so we became a sub-committee of this Foundation which saved us much time and money. The purpose of our committee is to continue the restoration, maintenance and promotion of Scherr-Howe Event Center (Mobridge City Auditorium), which is a public building on the National Historic Registry, through fund raising efforts.

As of Jan 3, 2012, The Friends of Scherr-Howe became a legal 501 (c) 3. There are 10 voting members on the board and four ex-officio members including two city council representatives, the city administrator and the Chamber of Commerce executive director. The officers are Lynn James Holzwarth, president; Christine Goldsmith, vice-president/treasurer; Haden Bowie, secretary. These are all unpaid volunteer positions.

The question that comes up is why form a 501 (c) 3 foundation? By being a tax exempt foundation we become eligible to apply for grants to further our goals and any donations made to the foundation by individuals, groups or businesses are tax deductible. Such donations can be made by contacting one of the board members or city hall. All check should be made out to “Friends of Scherr-Howe”.

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