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Fundraising kicks off for new Fairlawn sign

Decades have passed since the Onaway Club sold in the early 1980s, and proceeds from the sale helped Fairlawn Mansion and Museum get a sign for its front lawn.

"It's served us well," said Sara Blanck, director of the Superior Public Museums. However, the sign has seen better days.

Now, the Superior Public Museums is looking to replace it.

Mayor Bruce Hagen, and his wife Lois, are looking to help that effort along with a fundraising kickoff on Sunday. They paid for the band to get things started.

The sign, designed by LHB, is similar to ones the city installed this year to welcome visitors to the community; however, it has a tower similar to the copula on the mansion.

"What we're hoping to do is raise enough funds to put the sign up with donations of materials and labor," said Hagen, who paid for the band.

"We liked our little old school letter board because that's the best advertising we have," said Sara Blanck, director of the Superior Public Museums.

She said 16 people including the museum's board, the mayor -- plus the master gardeners that designed and installed Fairlawn's gardens -- chose the best elements of three designs to create the sign.

Rough estimate, Blanck said, the anticipated cost to create and install the sign could be $40,000 without in-kind contributions to the project.

Hagen said he doesn't believe it will be that expensive.

The kickoff fundraising event runs noon to 3 p.m. Sunday on the Fairlawn grounds.

"We think it's just going to be fun," Blanck said. "The Bugs are going to be playing. We are going to have kids' games and kids' projects, and hot dogs and beer. And if the weather stays clear ... it could be just a great way to enjoy a fall afternoon."

It's also a chance for the public to check out the new children's stage recently completed by the Sunrise Rotary, Blanck said.

It's an opportunity to enjoy the music, kids' games and visit with neighbors, Hagen said.

Blanck said some, have framed the event as a tailgating party -- festivities wrap up in time for people to make it home for the Green Bay Packers game.

"It was no accident the event was planned to wrap up before the game," she said. Admission is by donation.