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Park Board Seeks Professional Fundraiser

By ERIC X. VICCARO

eviccaro@stegenherald.com

Ste. Genevieve city administrator Happy Welch made a presentation to the Parks and Recreation board at its meeting on July 26.

During the presentation, Welch provided a six-page handout – a request for qualifications (RFQ) for professional fundraising services.

A subcommittee will review the candidates, and also conduct interviews – with the ultimate goal of making a recommendation before the full board.

In turn, the park board will make its recommendation to the board of aldermen for approval.

Welch said he would send out the RFQ this week, giving professional fund-raisers a 45-day window to respond.

Responses are due by Thursday, Sept. 16, according to minutes from the meeting. The bid must include the following on the outside of the envelope, “Park Master Plan Fundraising.”

In the RFQ, the city details its goals for upcoming changes as part of the Pere Marquette Park Master Plan drawn up by Nick and Mary Donze last year.

“The city is applying for grants to improve the walking trail in Pere Marquette Park as a concrete 10-foot wide walking/biking trail,” said the request, “and will be working on it in multiple phases, if necessary.”

The consultant selected will be expected to have experience with capital fundraising for public uses –  and work with city personnel to target ways to raise funds.

A timeline will be established with the selected consultant that best suits the park board’s fundraising efforts.

As part of the duties of the fundraiser, levels of giving will be established and ways to recognize and celebrate individual gifts when goals are met.

The city will choose a company based on qualifications for the proposed project and negotiate a price for surveying.

The criteria for finding a professional fundraiser will include knowledge of both Ste. Genevieve city and county. Different criteria have been given specific weighted percentages of importance.

The packet also included guidelines for bidders and vendors.

Board member Lauren Smothers made a motion to approve the RFQ, with a second from Samer Zoughaib. The motion passed by a 6-0 vote, with “ayes” from members Barbara Basler-Peterson, Mark Buchheit, John Conard, John Karel, Smothers, and Zoughaib.

The Donzes also will assist with helping to find professional fundraising services.

The fundraising subcommittee met during July to help put together the RFQ packet.

Zoughaib also suggested having a fundraiser during the Jour de Fete festival set for Aug. 14-15.

Welch reported Monday morning the Ste. Genevieve Community Foundation Fund has generated $4,496.50 in donations.

Other subcommittees – Trails, Playgrounds and Bathrooms – had little to update.

The trial subcommittee will provide an update at the September board meeting after further information gathering. Smothers said she will be participating in a seminar on playground equipment soon.