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Platte pool project could begin construction this spring

PLATTE--More than $24,000 was raised Saturday for a proposed pool project in Platte, raising the total funding to just under $2 million. At the Platte Area Pool Fundraising Committee's next meeting, a discussion will be held about sending the pro...

PLATTE-More than $24,000 was raised Saturday for a proposed pool project in Platte, raising the total funding to just under $2 million.

At the Platte Area Pool Fundraising Committee's next meeting, a discussion will be held about sending the project to bid.

"Our plan is to hopefully start building this spring - so start digging this spring. If everything goes right with the bidding process, that's our goal," said Pool Fundraising Committee Treasurer Melanie Sondgeroth.

The Platte Area Pool Fundraising Committee hosted a "Game Show Night" fundraiser Saturday, with approximately 250 people in attendance. With an entry fee of $25, attendees were treated to a spaghetti meal and a night of entertainment.

With other events in the region on Saturday, Sondgeroth was nervous there wouldn't be a notable turnout for the event.

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"This year, I was a little nervous because there were other things going on like region wrestling and honors choir," she said. "When we schedule a big event, we really try to look at the calendar and find the best night we can. We were hoping to break $20,000, so we were really excited with $24,000."

There was a social hour which included music provided by a DJ, and, following that, game show games began. First, Pictionary was played by teams from New Holland, Geddes and Platte.

"Our committee is for the Platte area, so we like to get surrounding towns involved," Sondgeroth said.

There were no prizes awarded for the winning teams.

This was the third year the fundraising committee used the game show theme, but the first year pictionary was played. In prior years, Family Feud was played in its place.

Making a return appearance, though, was the Newlywed Game. Pool Fundraising Committee members and their spouses participated in the event.

"Everybody's been really willing to participate in these events," Sondgeroth said. "That's why we threw ourselves into it this year thinking that we've asked people from the community to help out so it's probably our turn to be up on stage."

A calcutta was held prior to the start of the game, raising $12,500. The winners of the calcutta received 40 percent of the money, but Sondgeroth said each winner gave their earnings back to the pool committee. After games concluded, a lip-sync battle ensued, followed by socialization with music provided.

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Sondgeroth praised the Platte community for its continuous support.

"These events that we do, they would not happen without the community that we have," Sondgeroth said. "It happens because people in the community step up, donate, participate and attend."

The committee is approaching the project with a conservative mindset, Sondgeroth said, and won't "build beyond our means." She said, with the design the committee and city have in mind, she expects the total project to cost approximately $2 million.

"What our plan is, after fundraising for this long, the pool design committee and the city have said, we've kind of exhausted all of our efforts and the community has been so willing to give and give and give. So with what we have, that's what we're going to build," Sondgeroth said.

But, even if the plan plays out how the committee hopes, Sondgeroth said she doesn't expect Saturday's fundraiser to be the last, both because community members have asked for fundraisers to continue and because it is a "big event" that brings the community together.

"We've told the city, after this is built and after we do complete the project, we would be willing to do an annual event for the funding for them to keep the pool going," Sondgeroth said. "Pools are expensive to run and we thought that'd be a good way to keep contributing to the project."

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