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August 2, 1999

Arnolds Park Saved By Fund Raising Efforts

Arnolds Park, IA -- Yesterday afternoon the Save The Park campaign announced that they have successfully raised $7.25 million in pledges, grants and donations to save Arnolds Park.

The announcement was made during the dedication ceremony for the new 10,000-square-foot Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum.

During the ceremony Iowa's state governor Tom Vilsack announced to the crowd that the state would be giving the Save The Park campaign a $1 million state grant out of a newly created Community Attraction and Tourism Fund.

In addition to the large sum, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will donate $250,000 for land purchases to help preserve public access to the beach front property along West Okoboji Lake.

Save The Park, a part of the non-profit Maritime Museum was pleased with their efforts to save Arnolds Park. The group successfully raised more than the needed amount in amazing 31 days.

The campaign to save the park began in the late-June after local residents discovered that park owner Chuck Long was going to sell the park and land to Don Dunham. Dunham, a land developer, had planed to close the park to build new homes on the property.

In a last ditch effort to save the park, the Maritime Museum's Board of Directors asked Dunham to sell the land to the museum, so the 110-year old park could be saved for future generations.

In an agreement with the museum, Dunham agreed to sell the land to the museum for $5.5-million and set a deadline for the purchase of August 1.

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