Feeling like a million bucks

Fundraising leaders for the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse renovation were all smiles as they delivered some very good news on the project Tuesday night at the MHS/Community Auditorium.

The Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation donated a $1 million challenge grant to the Roundhouse renovation, as announced by Martha-Ellen’s grandson and vice president of the foundation, David Tank.

“This is absolutely awesome,” said MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay. “I’m so grateful and this momentum will carry us forward.”

A total of $9.1 million of the project will be paid for by school district funds which leaves $3.85 million to be raised by the community and supporters across the world.

Tank said the Roundhouse renovation is the kind of project his late grandmother would believe in and it would be a part of her vision for the future. In other words, the foundation jumped at the chance to kick-start the fundraising campaign.

“We were not a hard sell,” Tank said.

Like many in attendance, Karn Gregoire, executive director of the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, was overcome with emotion after the announcement.

“This is nothing short of spectacular and certainly consistent with Martha-Ellen’s dream and her love of Marshalltown,” Gregoire said.

The $3.85 million hoped to be raised will go towards the building of an auxiliary gym and wrestling room for the school.

“It’s a goal and something we can achieve through community support,” said Gary Schaudt, co-chair of the fundraising effort.

Phomvisay was encouraged at the hundreds of community members who showed up for the announcement Tuesday. The announcement was kept a surprise until it was delivered on a tray by the Bobcat mascot to Tank. The surprise was met with applause and cheers from the community.

“These are people who love their community and love their school,” Phomvisay said.

This is the second time in the 37-year history of the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation that a $1 million grant has been awarded. The previous grant of that size went to the new Marshalltown Public Library in 2006.

This grant will be donated over five years and is designed to encourage community participation as it will match the first $1 million raised.

Pledge forms are now available to donate to the Roundhouse renovation at www.mhsroundhouse.com.