05 May 2014

Governor Butch Otter Pays the Depot a Visit

It is campaign season so Idaho's governor was at Bennett Lumber for some handshaking while traveling through north Idaho. But he didn't need any arm twisting to stop by the Depot to congratulate us on the May 1 "Idaho Gives" top honors for most donors in the small non-profit category. Otter spoke a few minutes before mingling with others who had come to greet him.  He is pictured above with (left to right) Janice McMillan, BJ Swanson, Shirley Green, Dale Good, Bonnie Good, Governor Otter, Kenny Cada (HPG President) and Karen Rohn (HPG VP).

HPG Treasurer Barb West reported that the Depot snagged $8600 from Idaho Gives and another $1200 in checks from those who couldn't participate online.  That is getting close to $10,000!!!!

HPG Secretary and owner of Thread It , Depot tenant Robin McKinney visited with Latah County Commissioner Dave McGraw while the governor addressed community residents and others. Robin's business has steadily increased since she moved in March 1, and she feels right at home sharing business space with Karen Rohn.

02 May 2014

"Idaho Gives" challenge nets over $8500 for the Depot!

Restoring a 100-plus-year-old train depot is not a job for sissies, as some of these pictures remind us!  We put on the masks, picked up the shovels and did our part.  Yesterday many fine folks from all over the US supplemented our efforts by giving to the Idaho Gives May 1 fundraiser.  Not only did we pick up over $6000 in very much needed financial help, but we snagged the most donors for our small non-profit category, narrowly defeating the Idaho Falls School District Foundation.  It was a wild ride right up until the last, but we stayed in first.  That meant we earned another $2500 in bonus money.  Oh boy, can we use it! Volunteers have prepped the upstairs as the photos show, but cold hard cash is needed to do what comes next.  Electricity to half of the upstairs has depleted our bank accounts, but we still need walls, floors, a rehabbed staircase, etc.  The new funds will make things happen.  

Already we have two tenants waiting for spaces upstairs.  Robin McKinney's sewing business Thread It is busting at the seams in her small downstairs quarters, and the Latah Eagle weekly newspaper's new owner Barry Johnson also wants office space.  With the City of Potlatch annexing more acreage from the old mill site, a new industry will soon break ground on a 10,000 square foot building, hiring 50 workers.  Phase two will be another building, with an additional 100 jobs.  This will all be happening adjacent to the depot, making our wonderful old building a primo location. With paying tenants in our depot, we can finally take it easy a bit (none of us originals are getting any younger!).

Speaking of taking it easy, one cannot wrap up the Idaho Gives recap without another "atta boy" to Jim West, our slave driver and fearless leader who has wanted to make the most of Idaho Gives long before most of us had heard of it.  I found one rare picture of Jim lining up for a chow, rather than wearing a mask, wielding a hammer or playing music to raise funds.  He has been tireless....although I am sure his body tells him to rest more often than he admits!  And thanks to his wonderful sidekick wife, 'Becca, who puts up with all this nonsense!

Additional pictures show some other stalwarts, all incognito in their masks.  Karen Rohn, Kenny Cada and Barb West do know how to get dirty, and even my dear old hubby Jack has gotten into the act in the past. We are a team and we have pulled hard.  Sadly I cannot picture everyone who has stayed with the project. But thank you, one and all for the great efforts at Idaho Gives.  It was a cliff hanger, but well worth it.  "I think I can, I think I can" is more than mere words with this great bunch from the HPG!