Earlier this year, the Oasis board recognized that the van they had
was going to have to be replaced, but they believed they had a
little time to accomplish the task.
However, in July, the
van developed some serious issues, and it became apparent that
replacement was going to have to come sooner rather than later.
A committee was formed and fundraising efforts began.
Thursday the monthly potluck at the Oasis Senior Center was a
special occasion as executive directory Dominic Dalpoas announced
that the fundraising goal for the new transportation van has been
reached. In addition, the van has been ordered and is scheduled to
be delivered next week.
Dalpoas began by acknowledging the special guests in the room,
including Dawn Gross and representatives from the Eagles Ladies
Auxiliary, which donated $1,176 to the Oasis this year and has
pledged to offer additional support to the Oasis next year.
He recognized T.J. Cosgrove and Merlin Horath of the Elks. The
Elks Charitable Trust contributed $5,000 to the bus fund.
Finally he acknowledged the Woods Foundation, which was
represented by its directors, saying the foundation has done some
wonderful things for the people of Logan County. The Woods
Foundation offered a matching grant to the Oasis, which in effect
cut the amount needed ($52,000) to purchase a new bus in half.
Dalpoas also acknowledged all the Oasis members who served on the
van committee and introduced Wally Reifsteck, who led the drive.
Reifsteck spoke, saying the Oasis board met on June 19 and
determined they were going to have to have a new van. The plan then
was to start working toward raising money so they could do something
by the fall.
However, in July, the existing van broke down, and they realized
that they were not going to be able to wait. They had to do
something as quickly as possible.
Reifsteck said that on July 14 they had zero dollars; just a week
later they had accumulated $2,570; by August they had doubled the
fund; and by the end of August they had $15,000. By Sept. 8, they
had accumulated $25,000, due in part to the generous donation from
the Elks Charitable Trust.
Reifsteck said nine groups gave a total of $9,500, and 262
individuals gave an average donation of $80 each.
He told the group that Peggy's Place bakery and Fat Boys Barbeque
had also volunteered to do a fundraiser for the van at the end of
October. However, Reifsteck said that after they had met the goal,
the committee felt they should not continue asking for money, so
they canceled that fundraiser. He told the group that anyone who had
purchased their tickets for the October fundraiser could turn them
back in for a full refund.
Bob Jeckel, president of the Oasis board, spoke briefly, thanking
all the people who over the years have supported all the fundraisers
for the Oasis.
Bill Bates was called to speak, representing the Woods
Foundation. He said that everything the foundation does is done in
the name of Bob and Joann Woods. He spoke of their generosity and
the intent of the foundation they created to continue their
philanthropy, assisting those in need locally.
Bates said he wanted to recount the history of how the foundation
got involved with the van project.
"A day in July, I happened to be looking at LDN as I do every
morning when I start my day, and I saw that there was a van campaign
contemplated by the senior citizens center because your van had
broken. I shot an email off to the other directors and said, 'Take a
look at this article on LDN. I think this is something we could help
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Bates said that for the next half-hour, the four directors talked
via email about this. While this was going on, Bates' secretary came
in and laid an application from the Oasis on his desk. He asked if
Dalpoas was still there and was told no, he had dropped off the
application and left.
"I picked up the phone and called him right away because I found
it such a coincidence that we had already started talking among
ourselves as directors about wanting to help with this project, and
I no sooner got off my computer than he had a grant application on
my desk. I called him, and he had this very hesitant tone when he
answered the phone, and I said, 'I've got your application, and we
were already talking about that.' He said, 'I thought you were going
to tell me you were out of money for this year.'"
The agreement with the Woods Foundation was that they would match
dollar for dollar all the money the Oasis raised for the van.
However, Bates said that in the end, the foundation directors were
so impressed with the work done by the Oasis that they decided to do
more than was asked of them.
He said, "We were impressed beyond belief with the generosity of
the community and this organization towards the van, so we made a
further decision that we wanted to increase the offer so this
organization would have a fund for what we call reserve and
replacement or maintenance."
Bates said he was pleased to present the Oasis with a check for
$51,250, which was the match, plus an additional $21,000.
Jeckel accepted the check and thanked the Woods Foundation. He
also said that he thought everyone knew the result of the Oasis
efforts should be contributed to "forces more than just us working
Dalpoas also expressed appreciation for everyone who helped. He
recounted a story of a senior coming to him with a donation from the
"I had a person come to my office in the midst of the campaign
and said, 'Ever since I heard that you had to buy a new van, I've
been saving money.'" Dalpoas said this was an elderly person, but
the money saved was a check for $100. "It really struck me that an
individual would think that much of this organization and this
campaign, to save money, to give to others for a van. It was
touching. Those are the kind of folks we have in Logan County, and
that is why we are what we are here," he said.
The new bus is expected to arrive in Lincoln next week. The Oasis
will celebrate their achievement again on Oct. 30, when they host a
bus open house for the community. Everyone is invited to come out
that day and see what their donations have done for the seniors of
[By NILA SMITH]