Community pulls together to exceed Lundberg $100,000 in 100 days campaignThe “$100,000 in 100 Days” grassroots campaign to raise awareness, interaction and dollars for the new mission of the Richard Bong Veterans Historical Center along Superior’s focal waterway came to a halt last week with over $225,000 raised.
By: Deb Krieg, Superior Telegram
It was a timed, tuned and tenaciously championed capitol campaign with the kind of colorful, creative challenges everyone who has ever had to raise a dime or a dollar for a cause that tugged at a heart, a purpose, or a purse string - dreams of.
And, it had all the dynamics, drama and determination one would expect from the dangling of a six-digit, dollar-for-dollar carrot. It was an over the top goal-matching, momentum-building monetary challenge which sent goal projections snowballing into reality.
There was also a colossal cast of community contributors, a progressive board of directors tapping contacts and, best of all, a determined corporate and community leader who had a decorated, retired colonel who had served in Viet Nam as a co-chair teaming up to drive the message home.
The “$100,000 in 100 Days” grassroots campaign to raise awareness, interaction and dollars for the new mission of the Richard Bong Veterans Historical Center along Superior’s focal waterway came to a commendable halt last week with over $225,000 raised, according to Superiorite Judy Weber, chief executive officer of Inter City Oil Company.
Chairpersons John Bremer and Weber, agreed that finishing well ahead of the museum’s goal was made possible because of some real challenges that came in the way of “huge plusses.”
“When you have community leaders and business people come forward to challenge others to match dollars that they commit – it’s a win-win for everyone,” Weber said. “From that moment on a dollar is doubled and donations take on a whole new meaning, and every call, every envelope adds up to a winning amount.”
Weber was referring to the initial “Lundberg Family Challenge” that Bob Lundberg, a longtime
area businessman and WWII veteran, made with his sons Scott and Terry and their respective families and community-focused businesses back in the early weeks of November.
That $100,000 pledge was huge as were the dollar amounts and matches that came from RJS & Affiliated Companies’ Todd Johnson and the seed monies of Rod Campbell of Campbell Lumber, the late Cal Miller’s family and others.
“From there, other business leaders and community contributors worked diligently and embraced the cause to make certain we didn’t leave any money on the table,” Bremer said. “As a result we were able to capitalize on what turned out to be $112,500 in matching dollars.”
Weber said that the names of all contributors have been posted on the Bong website at www.bvhcenter.org.
“We had many families giving what they could and their donations seriously mattered as much as the next … as did their stories and reasons for giving which ranged from a grandson who wanted to pay tribute to his grandfather who had served during World War II to another who had a parent that had served in Korea to one who has a daughter serving in the Guards today,” Weber said.
Terry Lundberg said he couldn’t be more pleased with the fact that the community met his match.
“Judy and John deserve a lot of credit. They advocate team work and community giving and like so many others obviously really care about our region, veterans and this center and it showed,” Lundberg said. He also lauded the work of the many volunteers of the Bong.
There were over 125 donations made in the campaign with monies generated to be used to expand educational interactive exhibits and display artifacts which already number in the thousands as well as to improve archiving and tribute walls and memorials.
More than 20,000 veterans are represented in the museum which draws over 12,000 visitors annually and is named after an ace fighter pilot from Northern Wisconsin who was inspired to fly after seeing his first mail plane buzz his backyard en route to the summer White House operated in Superior by former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge.
Many of Richard Bong’s family descendants, including his sisters Joyce Erickson and Gerry Fechtelkotter were active in this campaign.
Further information on the center including memorials and updating local veteran information can be obtained by phoning Bob Fuhrman, director, at (715) 392-7151.