In January, the EDA Board and I agreed to end the LqP Computer Commuter program at the end of 2016, based on our finances and the dim prospect of further grant awards.
In April, we learned of a $35,000 bequest from a Madison resident who had passed away last fall, and that the bequest had to be matched. So, in addition to the In Kind Services already provided to the program daily, we needed to raise matching dollars by July 31.
21 entities responded, 19 within our county. Adult Basic Education and the Blandin Foundation both donated generously, but it is the local, across-the-county support I find so meaningful.
The 19 local donors, made up of individuals and organizations within the 6 communities the bus serves, donated $16,450. The additional funds from Adult Basic Education and the Blandin Foundation raised the total amount to $41,450, exceeding the $35,000 maximum match. In the end, we landed with a total of $76,450 added to our coffers.
Given the amount raised and matched, the LqP Computer Commuter should operate through 2017, 2018 and in to 2019 – again dependent on expenses (bus maintenance and gas prices).
Quoting Linda Nickell of the TDF Foundation, an original supporter: “Congratulations, Mary! Lac qui Parle is an amazing community!”
Indeed it is, Linda, indeed it is.