Save Our Steeple campaign targets Winchester landmark - September 30 2016

$50,000 in matching gifts sought for Grace Lutheran Church fund

WINCHESTER, Wis. - Work will begin this month to restore a longtime landmark in the Winneconne area, and along with it, a fundraising campaign to benefit the 113-year-old Grace Lutheran Church steeple has received a major boost with an anonymous matching gift.

Photo caption: The 113-year-old steeple at Grace Lutheran Church in Winchester will be restored with maintenance-free materials that match the original architecture of the building.

Church officials are hoping to raise $50,000 this fall to meet the donor's match challenge. The project will restore the landmark steeple, considered an architectural gem and icon for commuters and residents alike.

"In a world where annual obsolescence is not uncommon, there is an inspirational comfort in knowing the Steeple on the Hill will remain on watch over the community for another century and beyond," says Pete Uvaas, who leads the Save Our Steeple Committee at Grace Lutheran.

The steeple, built in 1903, is badly in need of repairs, he says. The project will include rewiring and replacing the lighted cross; replacing shingles with stone-coated steel roofing; replacing the wood louvers with coated steel louvers; and replacing decorative wood corbels and spires with reproductions. These repairs will result in a steeple that will look the same, Uvaas says, but will be low maintenance and more efficient. The total cost of the project is $160,000.

Emily Dunham, president of the Winneconne Area Community Foundation (WACF) Board of Directors, says she is excited to partner with Grace Lutheran on the project, which is supported by the SOS Save Our Steeple Fund with WACF.

"I hope that having the fund at WACF will help the SOS campaign, and let even more people know about this important community preservation project and the matching funds available," she says.

Dedicated volunteers at Grace Lutheran already have raised more than $60,000, which covers the down payment on the restoration and allows the project to begin in October. Reaching the $50,000 match goal will help the campaign reach its total fundraising goal.

Donate online

Tax-deductible donations can be made online, or by sending a check written to the SOS Save Our Steeple Fund to:

Winneconne Area Community Foundation
P.O. Box 476
Winneconne, WI 54986-0476

The Winneconne Area Community Foundation benefits charitable organizations in the Winneconne Community School District, which includes Larsen, Winchester, Poygan and Buttes des Morts. An affiliate of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, donors enjoy maximum tax benefits. For more information, please call 920-426-3993 or go to www.WinneconneAreaCF.org.


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