PHOTO: Roman and Rosemary Welter were recognized during the MDS Foundation dinner on March 2 for their contribution of 40 acres of trees. This donation will help benefit the future students of the school district for years to come. (Photos by Kim Brooks)
PHOTO: The Berndes Center was full of parents, grandparents, educators, community members and supporters of the Monticello School District on March 2 for the annual MSD Foundation Dinner and Auction. The Foundation raised $20,000 during the event.
PHOTO: Phil Gilkerson, MHS Social Studies teacher, participates in a magic trick with magician David Casas during the Foundation dinner on March 2. Casas entertained the crowd with several tricks during the night.
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
The stars of the evening at the annual Monticello School District Foundation dinner and auction were Roman and Rosemary Welter of Monticello.
The Welters made a sizeable donation towards the Foundation late last year, 40 acres of tree-filled property. As trees are cut down and the wood sold, the proceeds will be used to fund Foundation projects that benefit the school district.
During the Foundation dinner, the Welters were honored with a framed plaque of the article about their generous donation that was featured in the Monticello Express on Nov. 14, 2012.
Welter purchased 80 acres of property near Military Road in 1976 and he and his wife Rosemary built a new home on it. The first trees were planted in the late 1970s. The seeds for this donation project actually began in 1995, when Welter proposed to will the trees on his property to the school, provided the MSDF would raise $500,000 in two years and make the first gift of $10,000 to start the drive toward a new high school.
Roman thanked the Foundation for their gift and thanked the community for their support of the school district, noting the importance of education and our youth.
In the Express article, Roman was quoted as saying, “This venture has provided me much satisfaction. I am a true believer in the American free enterprise and capital system, which enabled this venture to succeed.
“I hope this will benefit the Monticello community for generations to come.”
One of the highlights during the dinner and auction was the talented stylings of award-winning magician David Casas. Using humor, several doves and fast-paced tricks, Casas was well received by the crowd. He also utilized assistants from the crowd, including Dick Bell and Phil Gilkerson.
Over the years, the Foundation has been generous to the Monticello School District, buying equipment that benefits the greatest number of students. From 1992 through 2012, they have contributed over $400,000 to enhance educational opportunities.
Their mission: To provide funding for projects and programs not funded by usual school budgets, with emphasis on academic areas.
Over the years, some of the numerous items, projects and contributions the Foundation has donated towards include: stage curtains, Panther Park, high school computer center, art program, Kid Quest program, athletic equipment, donation to the new track, pottery wheels for the high school, band uniforms, Sports Complex, SmartBoards and LCD projectors, books for the school libraries and more.
With both a live and silent auction, the Monticello School District Foundation raised $20,000. This money will go towards future needs of the school district for years to come.
Entertaining the crowd during the dinner was MHS junior Emily Dirks. She played the guitar and piano while performing hits by Adele and the soundtrack to “Shrek.”
Great Jones County Fair Manager John Harms also announced the Sunday evening fair entertainment act, TobyMac, a Christian rock group, featuring MHS graduate Tim Rosenau.
“You’re in for a real treat,” said Harms of the unique band. TobyMac will be the main act on Sunday night at the GJCF. (More information to come at a later date.)
Darrell Reyner provided the dinner and auctioneer talent for the evening.
The Foundation is always taking donations to help benefit the students in the Monticello School District. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 2, Monticello, IA 52310.
(Express Sports Editor Pete Temple contributed to this article.)