This bar graph chart displays the approximate contributions fro various graduation classes from Pelican Rapids High School.
There have been more contributions in the recent days, and the graph will be updated.

Holiday season bringing in more contributions to Pelican Rapids aquatic center campaign

Pelican Rapids alumni have been generously contributing to recreation for Pelican area’s future generations.

The Pelican Rapids Pool Committee’s alumni challenge has been generating contributions, and also reuniting many Vikings past and present. 

With the season of giving now beginning, Pelican swimming pool advocates are reminding folks of an important local need—and hoping holiday spirit will inspire contributions. 

Every little bit helps, and Pelican graduates have been stepping up from $25 up to thousands, as reported by Kate Woolever Martinez—herself a Pelican graduate. Martinez is a member of the pool committee, which has spearheaded an aggressive campaign — but with a “soft” sales pitch. 

The friendly competition is intended to inspire alumni, and see which graduating class can raise the most funds for the Pelican Rapids Pool Project. 

The examples of giving are numerous, and span the decades—from the Class of 1967 at $6,000, to 2009, at $5,000. Within the past couple weeks, a couple hundred dollars were contributed on behalf of the Class of 1961—including memorials to the late John Koepke, through his wife Carol, a 1961 grad. 

Several donors prefer to remain anonymous, but encourage other alumni to contribute. 

“Growing up in the community, I benefitted so much…Giving back is something I’m grateful to do,” said one donor, who preferred not to be named. “Not everybody has the ability to give high amounts, but I encouraged them to give what they can. 

Swim lessons were among the memories of an anonymous donor. “I’m not a great swimmer—but it helped me survive in the water,” the donor laughed. 

“This is an investment back in the community. It benefits not ony those using it now, but for years down the road—and for future generations.” 

“Your help is needed for our community project that will increase health and wellness, promote tourism and recreation, and provide growth opportunities for our town,” wrote the committee in a letter.  

“Over the past 18 months the pool committee has raised over $1.8 million dollars for our new pool with the end goal being $3.7 million. To keep this momentum going we need your help. All donations will be matched up to $500,000, thanks to a generous donation from a private donor.” 

West Central Initiative, a regional 501c3 non-profit is accepting all gifts, and acting as the financial agent for the pool committee. Checks can be mailed to West Central Initiative, PO Box 318, Fergus Falls, MN 56538-0318. Please designate Pelican Rapids Pool and your class year in the memo line of your check. Online donations can be made at 

All classes raising $5,000 or more will be recognized on a donor recognition wall at the new facility. 

This challenge is continuing through the end of 2020. 

Let’s all work together and show our VIKING PRIDE and help make this project a reality for our vibrant community,” noted the committee. 

Alumni Challenge totals as of mid-November 

1959 – $50

1961 – $220

1967 – $6,000

1977 – $2,000

1979 – $100

1983 – $150

1985 – $51.60

1991 – $200

1994 – $102.88

2000 – $50

2001 – $205.46

2004 – $154.17

2006 – $374

2007 – $400

2009 – $5,000

2016 – $154.17

2020 – $25.95