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Opinion: The Mountain, a lasting legacy

Detroit Mountain organizers have entered what they hope will be the final fundraising push to obtain the last $1 million necessary to assure Detroit Mountain opens as scheduled in the fall of 2014.

Anyone following the progress Detroit Mountain Recreational Association (DMRA) has made during this fund drive has to be impressed.

More than $4.9 million in cash and pledges is committed, including approximately $100,000 since the public announcement July 11 that the drive is now in the home stretch. Slightly more than 200 donors are committed, and no one has declined to give when asked.

There are plenty of reasons to donate to this project. The Otto Bremer foundation has awarded a matching grant of up to $200,000, so when you pledge a dollar, if becomes two. Pledges can be paid over a five-year period, which makes even modest annual commitments meaningful to the project.

It’s been well documented that reopening the Mountain will be good for Detroit Lakes. Economically, it will bring more vitality to the off seasons, and will create many more jobs than will be filled by the 20 or so people actually working at the Mountain.

It will lend resources to improve wellness and strengthen a healthy community.

Detroit Mountain will again be a facility where families can share and develop lifelong recreational opportunities and partake in healthy exercise.

And there is the esthetic beauty of the Mountain, as it holds court over the lakes and city. From the top, there is no more gorgeous a view than the scene below. The lakes, the city, trees and farm fields for miles are unveiled.

There is some interesting and creative fund-raising going on. Detroit Lakes High School Freshman A.J. Lindquist and his sister, Grace Lindquist, coordinated a “breakfast party” at their home before and after the Pet and Doll parade last Saturday to raise money for the project.

They wanted to take advantage of the matching grant, they say, and the $473 they raised did just that.

DMRA leadership hopes others will follow suit and take the initiative to join in creative and spontaneous fund-raising efforts.

While DMRA is still aggressively asking donors for support, they just can’t reach everyone. Don’t wait to be called. Be proactive.

We urge you to pick up the phone and call a DMRA board member or to go to www.detroitmountain.com and make a commitment now. Your dollar becomes two, thanks to the Bremer grant.

And more importantly, you will become a member of a unique group of visionary citizens, who, history will show, were responsible for bringing back “The Mountain,” a true community treasure.

What better legacy could one leave?

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