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Garner Rotary Club - Our Past Projects

The Garner Rotary Club has been involved in sponsoring several projects throughout the community.  Among them are three "Welcome to Garner" signs, a Community Activities sign and the Avery Theater.  Pictures of these can be found here.  

This article was taken from the Garner Centennial book published in 1970.  For more information, visit the Prairie View Website.
 A Pleasant Way to Retire - The Story of Prairie View Apartments
                Living in an environment that contributes to dignity and meaningful activity for Senior Citizens is a most pleasant way to retire. Prairie View Apartments in Garner, which has a corporate name of Prairie View Home, affords to Senior Citizens of this area such an opportunity. 
                Interested civic minded citizens in Garner and surrounding area wanted to do something to contribute to the happiness and welfare of the Senior Citizens of this area, and from the concern of these interested people, the thought of Prairie View Apartments was born and developed into a reality.
                Prairie View is governed by a Board of Trustees, who, as of this writing, consists of the following, all of whom are from Garner, unless otherwise noted: W.L. Baggs; Gail Becker, Klemme; B. C. Berge; Lena Belle Bock; N. E. Brear; Vern Butz; C. W. (Pete) Cropley; Edna Dethmers; Edward J. Formanek; Dr. L. R. Fuller; Ben V. Greiman; Arthur Hanselman; V. E. Harris, Goodell; Dr. L. B. Johnson; Marvin G. Lemke, Klemme; Dr. E. H. Phillips; Harry C. Ruka, Goodell; Don Schulz; Dorothy Templeton; and Dr. H. G. Voetberg.
                Discussions were initiated in 1960 by members of the Garner Rotary Club, and plans were made in Rotary Club meetings to make this a community project. In the late summer of 1960, it was determined that seven men from Garner and surrounding area, representing the five churches in Garner and two rural churches, should meet to discuss the possibility of constructing a Senior Citizens Home. These seven representatives from Garner and surrounding area, who later, on June 12, 1961, caused Prairie View Home to be incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, included the following, who are named alphabetical order from the roll of the members:
·         B.C. Berge, Trustee and first elected Secretary, who has continued to serve in this office.
·          N. E. Brear, Trustee and first elected as President.
·          Dr. L. R. Fuller, Trustee.
·          Ben V. Greiman, Trustee and first elected Vice President, and who is now the President of the corporation.
·          Dover Kramer, Trustee. 
·          Roy L. McMillin, Trustee.
·          Dr. H. G. Voetberg, Trustee and first elected Treasurer, who has continued to serve in this office.
                Numerous meetings of the Board of Trustees were held in the law office of B. C. Berge, Secretary, between the time this project was commenced until its completion. As time went in, new members were added to the Board of Trustees from Garner and surrounding area, until the Board of Trustees at one time had a membership of twenty-three.
                Members of the original Board of Trustees visited other Senior Citizen Homes, including several in Minneapolis. It became obvious that this was a project of such size that it would be necessary to solicit the interest and cooperation of the people in Garner and surrounding area. Interested persons from the Goodell, Klemme, Duncan, Hayfield, Miller, Clear Lake, and Forest City areas became members and served and some still serve on the Board of Trustees.
                Architects were hired and preliminary plans were drawn, patterned after ideas and suggestions from the members of the Board of Trustees.
                Five thousand brochures were printed and most of these were mailed or distributed. Meetings were held with church groups and civic groups, explaining the project and the people of this area showed great interest in the project. A site, which then adjoined the city limits of Garner on the Southwest, but now within the corporate limits, was selected and purchased. Several committees were appointed. One of the most important of these committees was the Finance Committee, with H. L. Ollenburg, President of Hancock County National Bank, Garner, Iowa, and E. C. Buntenbach, well known Iowa and Midwestern cattleman and sales barn operator, ably serving as Co-chairmen of this important committee. 
                Application was made for a loan to the Housing and Home Finance Agency of the United States Government, for an amount of $885,000.00. At that time this application was made over $35,000.00 of contributions had been subscribed from local citizens, of which over $27,000.00 had been paid in cash. The application, as finally made, was a voluminous thing, consisting of legal size, single sheets of paper, on government forms with supplements, setting forth data in support of the request for a loan from the United States Government, which when stapled together made a sheaf of papers about an inch thick. W. L. Baggs, Vice President of Hancock County National Bank, and a Trustee and still serving in this capacity, and who at the time of this writing is also the Vice President of Prairie View, contributed much time and effort on budgetary matters. N. E. Brear, first President of Prairie View, correlated the activities of the various committees and did much work in the planning period, as well as during the entire construction period. Dr. H. G. Voetberg diligently kept the Treasurer’s records from Prairie View’s beginning and still services faithfully. G. W. Templeton, Garner attorney, acted as counsel for the corporation.
                After trips were made to Chicago and Minneapolis to meet with representatives of the lending agency of the United States Government, final plans and specifications were approved and a loan in the amount of $885,000.00 was obtained from the United States Government. In addition, many people made generous contributions to this project and to date more than $149,000.00 has been contributed.
                Following all the preliminary work and planning, bids were taken for construction on February 11, 1964, and on April 1,1964, the firms awarded construction contracts commenced work on constructing Prairie View Home. The building, now commonly known as “Prairie View” was completed in September, 1965, and apartments were ready for occupancy.
                Before construction was completed, applications for occupancy had been made. J. L. Abele of Garner was the first applicant for an apartment and Mrs. Nasha Bock of Klemme was the second applicant and first woman applicant, both of whom were among the first residents sand are still happily residing in Prairie View. By the late summer of 1967, all apartments were occupied and all apartments have been occupied since.
                The plan of the building, interior and exterior, is such that it is attractive and inviting. Prairie View is of brick and masonry construction, built on an area comprising 9.8 acres. It has 58 single apartments, 14 economy double apartments, and 4 large two room apartments, designed for a maximum of 94 residents in 76 living units. Each apartment has a full bath, a kitchenette, and each has its own thermostat with perimeter hot water heat. Each apartment has large storage spaces, recessed lighting, television, telephone, and electrical outlets, and each single apartment has a built in desk. There are three attractive lounge areas, a large central dining and recreation area, a large kitchen with walk-in cooler, walk-in freezer, and utilitarian kitchen equipment. There is a beauty shop, a library and a store where sundry items can be purchased. There also are laundry areas with laundry facilities for those who wish to do their own personal laundry. A large basement contains the heating and air conditioning equipment, storage facilities and areas for recreation. A carport to the North of the building houses 14 cars. The lounge areas and the central dining and recreational area is pleasantly furnished with attractive drapes and furniture, and is for use by all residents. All of these areas are kept very clean, which adds to the pleasantness of the surroundings.
                Mrs. Elsie Koolbeck served as Manager of Prairie View from the time it became operational, until September 1, 1969 and in the first several months she was assisted by her sister, Kathryn Grooters.
Mrs. Dorothy D. Anderson is now serving as Manager. The Managers have been most helpful in making Prairie View a success. Clark Pollock has been in charge of maintenance since Prairie View became operational.
                To qualify as a resident, one must be 62 years of age or over, or in the case of a married couple, one spouse must be 62 years of age or over. One must also be in satisfactory health and show a satisfactory economic status to pay minimum rentals.
                There is one good meal served each noon and the residents make use of their kitchenettes in their apartments for the evening and morning meals. The noon meal also provides for a period of fellowship.
                Various types of recreation are planned throughout the year. Mrs. Clarke Pollock has charge of the recreation program. Several residents have either a flower garden or a vegetable garden.
                Prairie View provides people in their retirement years with a pleasant way to live in clean, attractive and pleasant surroundings. It is recognized as the nicest Senior Citizens Home in a ten-state area. Visitors are always welcome.  

  Contact the Garner Rotary Club

The Garner Rotary Club meets
every Tuesday at Noon in
Mat's Place in Garner.  

For more information,
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