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Volunteer committee turns over last of pledges for event center

Five years ago, in 2008 we formed a committee to create the Bemidji Regional Event Center Operating Fund (BRECOF). The purpose of this fund was to allow people to pledge $100 a year for a period of five years to help offset the operating costs for the first five years of event center operation.

The intent was to give individuals who lived outside the city limits an opportunity to help the city taxpayer pay for the operating costs that we were certain would occur in the first five years of operation, thus easing the burden on the city taxpayer. Many city residents, also, pledged at that time.

We asked and people responded. We appreciate the rapid response of those who helped keep our volunteer expenses at a minimum. We would like to give a special thank you to all those who fulfilled their pledges, many of whom responded quickly and/or paid their pledge in one lump sum. For various reasons some have not completed their pledges.

The response brought 119 pledges totaling $59,500. Those who fulfilled their pledges brought the total to $54,025. On April 17, 2012 our committee met with the city and Sanford Center leaders to present them with the first check for $45,000. We set May 15, 2013 as our deadline to complete our campaign and will no longer be collecting funds from these pledges. All funds that have been received since our first contribution of $45,000 will be turned over to the city of Bemidji. If you have not completed your pledge and still wish to do so, you may turn in your pledge directly to the city of Bemidji.

Now we are turning over the last of the pledges. We know that this will not cover the operating deficit incurred in the first five years of operation.

This was a totally volunteer committee and none of the pledged funds have been used for any of the committee expenses for gathering these funds. We would like to give a very special thank you to the following banks and their staff who agreed to help collect this money either directly from the contributor or as we presented it: First National Bank Bemidji, Security Bank USA, RiverWood Bank, Citizens State Bank Midwest, Bank Forward and Deerwood Bank.