Fonda, Nemaha see the benefits of RAGBRAI

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RAGBRAI runners enter Mason City. (photo KRIB)

Last week’s statewide RAGBRAI bike ride was an opportunity for some small towns in Iowa to raise money for community projects.

The Moms and Grandmas for Fonda group used their stop along the road to raise money for a new basketball court in town. The northwest Iowa nonprofit brought in about $600 in pickle sandwich sales. Organizer Judy Hess says every little bit will help them reach their fundraising goal of $30,000.

“To be able to make so much money in such a short time is great,” says Hess, “and to meet so many cool people. It was a fun day. Hess says she’s thrilled with how her community has come together to make Fonda fun for the thousands of cyclists. His non-profit organization will continue to hold events such as cow bingo and chili cooking contests to raise more money for the court.

Elsewhere, Nemaha has raised almost enough money to complete construction of its historical museum. As one of the stops on Monday’s route, the northwestern town nearly sold out all 400 pounds of marinated turkey tenders prepared for the event. Organizer Jim Hamm says that effort earned them more than $8,000 to furnish the museum. He says he was proud of what the city was able to accomplish.

“It was good, it’s a good addition, but it’s definitely going to make a big difference to have that added to what we have,” Hamm said. “That should get us through, I think.” Tired as he was after the long day of selling tasty turkey to cyclists, Hamm says he would do it again in a heartbeat.

He hopes Nemaha gets another opportunity on the line to be on the road. Until then, he looks forward to the official opening of the museum in a year or two.

(By Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio)

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