Park Foundation

For more information about the Marengo Park District Foundation or to make a donation or gift contact our Director, Dr. Dan Bertrand at dbertrand@marengoparkdistrict.org or call 815-568-5126.

Overview

The Marengo Park Foundation distributes funds to support recreational programs and park projects for the Marengo Park District. Financial support in the form of a memorial gift or commemorative gift can also be made for things ranging from up-dating/ renovation of a room, planting a tree, buying a park bench/picnic table or paying for a special project. Financial contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated. 

Mission

The mission of the Marengo Park Foundation is to aid the Marengo Park District in the collection of funds through donations, estate gifts, community events and sponsorships and to redistribute the funds for the enrichment of park and recreation programs and services.

History

The Foundation was originally established in 2012 as a not-for-profit corporation to help benefit the Marengo Park District residents.  It was reestablished in the April of 2022. The Park Foundation is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation Board of Trustees consists of six members who are appointed by Park District Board of Commissioners.  The current Trustees are Aimee Ritter, Amy Thiede, Julie Jennett, Vera Rimnac, Hollie DeRose and Colleen Helfers.

    The park district’s primary source of revenue is property taxes.  The park’s biggest challenge is limited property tax revenue due to its small property tax base while having increasing expenses and maintenance costs.  The park district boundaries mirror those of the City of Marengo and exclude all of the surrounding area where most of our participants live.  We collect approximately $350,000 in tax dollars each year which must cover the costs of our programs, payroll, utilities and care and maintenance of our parks and buildings.  Additionally, we collected about $100,000 in fees for programs, fitness center and activities each year.  At the present time the park district has fund balance of approximately $200,000. Due to decisions of prior Park Boards, the park district has a total long term debt of $2,300,000 from the building addition and pool.  This debt was recently combined and refinanced at a much lower interest rate and the park district is now making annual payments of approximately $169,000 per year until 2039.      
  
  Park Staff      The park district has only 1 full-time employee who serves as Recreation Supervisor.  The park district has 9 part-time employees including the Director, Building and Grounds Supervisor, Front Desk Manager and other support staff. In the summer the park may employ up to 3 additional part-time staff to assist with mowing and caring for the grounds.    What about the pool?      The park district pool has been closed since 2014 due to it losing over $30,000/year and needing $60,000 to $100,000 in repairs.  Maintaining and operating the pool became too cost prohibitive to continue to operate it.   Due to the park district’s limited tax base and other revenue sources it is not feasible to operate and maintain the pool.   
   
   

WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT THE FOUNDATION  

MONITARY DONATIONS     When we say “A gift of any size will make a difference” we truly mean it. Whether your gift is $5, $25 or $125, your gift will help the District continue to be a resource for you and our fellow community members. You can make an impact!     Individuals or companies that make donations to the foundation can be assured the money will go to a park or facility improvement. Donations may be earmarked for a specific program. Other cash donations will go toward current project needs. The foundation board receives a list of capital improvements needed from the park district board of commissioners and staff. The Foundation Board will then determine how the money is spent. 

SCHOLARSHIPS     Help us make our recreation, fitness and fine arts programs available to everyone with a gift to our Scholarship Fund! Your gift to the Scholarship Fund makes our vision of serving our entire community a reality by making our programs accessible and affordable for all regardless of income. Park District staff administers the scholarship program which includes an application and demonstration of financial need.   

COMMENORATIVE GIFTS      Make a gift to the Foundation to celebrate a special occasion, such as the wedding, anniversary or birthday for a friend or loved one.      When you make a commemorative gift, you just provide the name of the person(s) being honored, as well as the address where we can notify them about your gift. The Foundation will send a letter notifying them that you have made a gift in their honor.  

DEDICATIONS      If you would like to make a donation in your name or the name of someone special for a specific purpose, we can memorialize your donation by putting a plaque on the donated gift.  Dedicated items could be a special project, renovation of a room or facility such as a shelter or softball field or as simple as a bench or a tree.
  
MEMORIALS
Anyone may contribute to a memorial fund following the death of a loved one. A memorial gift offers you a thoughtful way to not only affirm your values and support of the park, but also to recognize that these values were shared by the individual being honored.       When you make a memorial gift, the Foundation will notify the person of your choosing that you have made an undisclosed gift in their name.             If you would like to make a memorial gift in someone specials name, it can be earmarked for a specific project or purpose such as the renovation of a room, shelter, softball field and the facility will be recognized with their name.  
  

PLANNED GIVING 

     Today’s planned gifts truly are the gifts that keep on giving. When given to the Marengo Park District Foundation, a planned gift can have ripple effects that touch thousands of lives

over time. Make a statement and ensure that your gift leaves a legacy that supports the quality of life in our community!

Deciding whether to establish a planned gift and who to support is a difficult task. We are here to help and can work with you to tailor a plan that allows your gift to support your favorite part of the Park District, whether that’s parks, trails, or one of our facilities and programs. YOUR intent will lead the way!

  • To make a planned gift simply name the Marengo Park District Foundation as beneficiary and designate the Foundation to receive all or a percentage of a gift. 
  • Since the Marengo Park District Foundation has a 501(c)(3) status, all gifts are tax deductible.

What Are the Tax Benefits of a Planned Gift?

  • Your planned gift can help ensure the future health of the Park District.
  • Planned gifts offer substantial tax savings to donors
  • Giving a planned gift allows part of the estate to avoid the probate process.
  • Planning for the financial needs of a spouse or loved one, providing inheritances for your heirs at a reduced tax cost, diversifying investment portfolio
  • Through a Charitable Gift Annuity, you establish a meaningful gift to the Marengo Park District Foundation while providing yourself with income.
  • By including the Marengo Park District Foundation in your future plans, you are ensuring we are able to use your gift to continue to serve our community in the ways that you loved during your lifetime.

MEMORIALS OR DEDICATIONS TOWARDS SPECIFIC PROJECTS – These projects can be completed for the cost below and the area, shelter, road, parking lot or room will be dedicated in the name of the desired individual with the area renamed in their memory for 20 years.

ProjectDescription of NeedsEstimated Cost for Work
Nature CenterNew carpet and ceiling tiles, replace HVAC, replace deck flooring and glass in deck doors, remove elevator, new large smart TV$30,000
Fitness CenterNew carpet and paint, Replace HVAC, vinyl on equipment, new equipment$60,000
Dance RoomReplace HVAC, windows and metal door, New light fixtures$15,000
Art/Crafts RoomReplace water fountain and metal doors, paint and up-date bathrooms$10,000
Multi-purpose roomNew water fountain, up-date bathroom, replace HVAC,$10,000
Conference rooms/OfficesPaint, new carpet, water fountain, replace windows, up-date office furniture$25,000
Main Floor BathroomsNew stalls, paint, up-date sink and toilets$10,000
Pool Area- Repurpose to Amphitheatre and Sand VolleyballFill in the pool and cover the area with a hard permanent surface, add a raised stage with sound shell, new concession equipment, new bathrooms and showers, Exterior building up-dated, install 3 sand volleyball courts, landscaping, light and sound equipment,$350,000
Tennis CourtsResurface in asphalt, paint and enclose with fencing, replace lights$80,000
Softball FieldNew poles (6) and lights (24), new infield, bleachers (4), scoreboard$150,000
TOTAL $740,000

Resurfacing projects needed:

Resurfacing ProjectsDescription of NeedsEstimated Cost
Main Parking lotResurface and paint$55,000
Lower Parking lotResurface and paint$30,000
Pool Parking LotResurface and paint$40,000
Roadway through parkResurface road throughout the park$275,000
Softball Parking lotRe-gravel$10,000
TOTAL $363,000
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