By Dakota Woodlands Representative
Non-Profit organizations like Dakota Woodlands (DW) depend on the generosity of others to enable them to carry out their mission. If it wasn’t for the support of local businesses, groups and individuals, who show their support by volunteering time, talents and financial resources, many critical projects would not be completed.
One such critical project that needed to be taken care of was the removal of a forty-year old fence that surrounds the DW property. Once removed, a new fence would need to be installed. The new fence would provide privacy for residents and more importantly, safety for the children, securing the playground area at the shelter. This expensive proposition had to be coordinated to ensure a seamless process of removal of the old fence and the installation of the new fence. Fortunately a series of events that occurred last spring brought two groups together that enabled the project to move forward.
Allison Wertz, a neighbor of DW who frequently drives past the Shelter was given funds from her grandmother to distribute to charities of her choice. She decided to find out if she could help the families who depend on Dakota Woodlands for safe shelter. After meeting with Executive Director Beth Bromen, they agreed there was a need to replace the forty-year old fence. It was then that Allison generously made a monetary contribution on behalf of her grandmother, Florence C. Wertz. This donation was timely.
During the same time, Operations Director Nicole Bathgate had a meeting with Frank Sullivan, a Boy Scout from Troop 9171 in Eagan. Sullivan was looking for a service project to fulfill the final requirement for him to become an Eagle Scout. After Sullivan was presented with several projects that DW had available, he decided to tackle the project of disassembling and removing the existing fence.
Miraculously a project that kept being put off due to lack of funds and labor was now able to go forward thanks to the synergy of Allison Wertz and Frank Sullivan.
Sullivan coordinated with Scouts from Troop 9171 and along with help from other volunteers, dissembled the old wooden fence. This project entailed removing 33 posts along with the concrete footings and the disposal of 246 ft. of materials. Sullivan informed Waste Management about his service project and asked for them to donate a 20-yard dumpster. Waste Management honored Sullivan’s requests and donated the dumpster and cost of the disposal. Once the area was cleared, on August 9, 2018 Midwest fencing installed the new fence.
Thank you to Sullivan and volunteers from Troop 9171 for taking on a massive service project. Their hard work opened the door to Florence C. Wertz’s wishes of having a lasting impact on a nonprofit organization through financial giving. Thank you to Florence C. Wertz for the financial contribution and for entrusting her granddaughter Allison to find an organization that needed help.
Dakota Woodlands Representative (Nicole Bathgate)