Two Wartburg College alumni from the 1960s have stepped up to the plate for their adopted hometown.
Terry and Sandra Dahlquist, who graduated from the Waverly institution in 1965 and 1966, respectively, recently pledged $10,000 to the Champions Ridge project. The donation will go toward the construction of new baseball and softball diamonds and the new Bremer County Fairgrounds, west of Waverly.
In a phone interview with Waverly Newspapers, Terry said that one of his inspirations was seeing the sporting facilities available when he coached his kids’ basketball, soccer and baseball teams in Colorado.
“I think it’s a good thing for the kids and the development of the program and the town to have this facility (Champions Ridge),” Terry said. “There will be a lot of money spent when people come to use this facility. It’s a good thing for the community, and we want to support that.”
He added that his son, Dr. Clay Dahlquist, the chief medical officer at Waverly Health Center, has his three daughters going through the youth sports program. Terry said that he and Sandra watching their granddaughters go through the programs keep them connected.
“You have this civic feeling that Champions Ridge is a worthwhile project,” Terry said. “We decided to donate now because the campaign wasn’t getting anywhere near where it was supposed to be. If we donated now, we could maybe inspire some other to donate so that it could meet its deadline.”
With the Dahlquists’ pledge added in, the capital campaign for Champions Ridge stood at $680,314 as of Nov. 13. However, when factoring in $175,000 in pending asks that fundraiser Terry Hinrichs of General Development Group is working on, that total balloons to $855,314.
As part of an agreement between the Champions Ridge committee and the City of Waverly to raise $1 million by the end of 2018, there was a benchmark set at $750,000 by Nov. 16. Hinrichs and committee chairman Fred Ribich made an update to the Waverly City Council on Monday.
Terry said the Champions Ridge project has been a long time coming.
“It just seems like it’s taking forever,” Terry Dahlquist said of the efforts, “but that’s government in action. They’ve been doing a bunch of other fundraisers, like for the hospital and everything. They have to space them out. Some of it is a timing issue.”
Prior to retiring to Waverly in 2004, Terry was a software engineer, working with many different agencies within the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration in both New Jersey and Colorado. Sandra worked as an elementary and middle-school teacher.
Terry said there are two aspects for why Champions Ridge is a good project for the community.
“It gives them a layout for a plan for expansion,” he said. “It combines the functions of the softball and the fair, and they can do shared facilities like parking as opposed to having separate facilities.
“Also, it works better with their financial resources, so they can expand. That way, you can get multi-uses instead of just for baseball and softball. I understand the fair end is at its goal.”
Terry said that other potential donors should look at the civic benefits of having Champions Ridge available for the youth and the adults of Bremer County.
“This has the ability to be of a benefit commercially,” he said. “This is both a business-type of an investment and an investment in our children. Softball doesn’t just involve the kids, but also the adults.”