A nonprofit in Spearfish is fundraising to replace the city's public band-shell structure.
Zac Eixenberger, who co-founded the aptly named Spread the Tunes in 2015 with Andrew Kliewer, Jake Jackson and Ben Schnaible, said the nonprofit began with organizing its annual Canyon Acoustic Series, then branched into hosting events to raise funds for local charities and fellow nonprofits.
Its past projects have included events on behalf of Northern Hills Court Appointed Special Advocates, Western Hills Humane Society, Artemis House, Spearfish Bike Co-Op, Spearfish Food Pantry and others. Last year, Eixenberger said they were able to write a check for $10,000 to the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery & Archives.
"We just organize them, but at the end of the day it’s all the community support that makes our events successful," he said.
This year, Spread the Tunes is focusing its efforts to replace the band shell at Spearfish City Park, a popular spot for community events in the warmer months.
Spread the Tunes said on its website that the oft-used, aging band shell is now deteriorating and "has a variety of issues," but a replacement has not been budgeted by the city of Spearfish.
A Rapid City Journal article from June 1961 says the Spearfish PTA was at that time starting to raise funds to construct the band shell in honor of Charles McClung, a longtime West River musician and teacher who had retired in 1960. The article says McClung started the Belle Fourche Cowboy Band, and taught music in Belle Fourche, Spearfish High School and Black Hills Teacher College.
"We just kind of figured it was time to make a plan to get it rebuilt," Eixenberger said.
Though the project is still in its early stages, Spread the Tunes has started a campaign through GoFundMe, a popular crowdsource fundraising website. As of Friday afternoon, $1,650 had been raised. GoFundMe lists the project's goal as $100,000, but Eixenberger said they don't know yet what the project will cost.
Eixenberger said they are working with Spearfish-based surveyors and architects to come up with a design proposal. Then, Spread the Tunes can take those design plans to the Spearfish City Council, which owns the park and the band shell.
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Spread the Tunes hopes to make it a fully collaborative effort, getting feedback from community members and the organizations that host some of the biggest events in the park.
"We’d like to go to them and have a lot of backing before," Eixenberger said. "This is something we think we can get a lot of community support for. It will be a fun project to work on."
To donate, send checks to PO Box 812, Spearfish, SD 57783, or GoFundMe at gofundme.com/spearfish-city-park-band-shell-project. For more information, visit the group's Facebook page or website.
The New Underwood Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a pancake-feed fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. March 23 at the New Underwood Community Center, 500 S. A. Ave.
Cost is a free-will donation.
The Coalition on Adult Basic Education named Prosperity Initiative through Catholic Social Services as its Outstanding Workplace of the Year award winner.
A Feb. 15 press release from the coalition announced the award. Prosperity Initiative was created by the John T. Vucurevich Foundation that works to move Rapid City families "from poverty to prosperity." It is implemented through Catholic Social Services in partnership with Love INC.