East Marshall lands near $1 million donation

The East Marshall School District will get its new track complex thanks to the generous donation of a man who was never a part of the school community.

An East Marshall foundation will receive $982,850 from the estate of Bill Faust, a Moline, Ill. man who died last June. Faust left the money because of a friendship he formed with the Matney family of Le Grand.

As stipulated in the donation, 57 percent can go to fund activity programs and facility improvements at the school, which includes a new running track at the high school, and 43 percent will go to fund cheerleading programs, including camps.

“We’re very excited about this,” said Scott Wheater, activities director at East Marshall.

Faust worked as a forecast analyst for John Deere before retiring in 2004. Many in Le Grand didn’t know him, but his donation will be felt by the community for decades to come. Bob Berggren, former activities director at East Marshall, has been part of a fundraising effort for the track, which was still nearly $200,000 to becoming a reality before this donation.

“It was a big shock when I found out about it,” Berggren said. “I think this is a big step for the whole community. We can now have a track for kids to practice and run on.”

Faust died at the age of 63 in Moline, Ill. He became friends with the family of Lyle and Nancy Matney while attending school at Marshalltown Community College and maintained a relationship with the family through the years.

The donation announcement was made Monday night at the home basketball doubleheader at East Marshall and it received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or apotter@timesrepublican.com