Save The River is celebrating the completion of the From the Founders to the Future fundraising campaign and a major building renovation and expansion project with a community open house celebration on Saturday, June 9 from 1p.m. – 4 p.m. The open house will also provide community members an opportunity to meet Lee Willbanks, Save The River’s new Executive Director. Light refreshments will be served.
Save The River’s From the Founders to the Future…A Campaign to Enhance River Protection fundraising campaign raised over $780,000, exceeding its goal of $700,000, to support the expansion and renovation of Save The River’s offices, provide seed funding for program growth, and begin an endowment-like Legacy Fund.
As part of the campaign, Save The River announced the lead campaign gift of $100,000 from Dan & Peggy LeKander. The generous gift is the largest single gift the organization has received in its 30-plus year history. At a reception for campaign donors to be held on Friday, June 8, the conference room in the new building will be dedicated to the LeKanders in recognition of their generous gift.
Through a detailed strategic planning process several years ago, Save The River’s Board of Directors and staff identified the need to expand its advocacy and education programming. However at the time, Save The River’s office space in downtown Clayton barely fit its existing staff members, meeting space, and a busy information center. To meet Save The River’s space needs and set the stage for future program growth, the Board of Directors launched the From the Founders to the Future…A Campaign to Enhance River Protection. Funds raised through the campaign will be used in three areas:
- Building Expansion & Renovation – Save The River contracted Grater Architects and Goutremout Brothers Construction to design and build an addition for the organizations’ historic office space. The expansion roughly doubled the building’s square footage and includes energy efficient renovations on the current structure. The new space provides additional office and meeting space. The old building remains as the Save The River information center, which will include displays about St. Lawrence River issues along with the organization’s storefront.
- Seed Money for Program Growth – Over the next three to five years an additional two and half staff members will be added, which will enable Save The River to expand its growing environmental education and citizen monitoring programs, expand its advocacy and outreach programs to all communities on the Upper St. Lawrence River, and strengthen current advocacy programs.
- Seed Money for a Legacy Fund – The Board of Directors strongly feel that there will always need to be a Save The River to watch, protect, and promote the River. Campaign funds will be used to start a Legacy Fund, which is an endowment-like fund, to increase the organization’s financial stability and reduce reliance on external funding streams over the long term.