Friday, January 22, 2016

 Below are the Dedication notes of Lion's President at the time Jim Guck for the COVERED BRIDGE PRESENTATION FOR MAY 18, 2008.
GOOD AFTERNOON, Thank you for attending our ceremonies today.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jim Guck and am
Currently President of the Holdingford Lions Club
First of all, I would like to introduce our special guests:
Lieutenant Colonel-------------John Herman 367th Engineering Battalion
Command Sergeant Major---Robert Stanek 367th Engineering Battalion
Captain---------------------------John Zacharias 492nd Engineering Co.
First Sergeant-------------------William Klairs 492nd Engineering Co.
Additional key people that have worked with us on this project:
O.I.C Lieutenant --------------------Douglas Hayes
Staff Sergeant-------------------------Mike Cuthbertson
N.C.O.I.C. Staff Sergeant----------Chuck Claude
N.C.O.I.C. Staff Sergeant----------Arvid Dietrichs
N.C.O.I.C. Sergeant 1st Class----- Steven Tyler
Civilian, Battalions Operations-- Jerry Noll
Other Special Guests:
County Commissioner----------------------Dewayne Merick
County Commissioner----------------------Vince Schaefer
Holdingford Mayor--------------------------Ernie Schmitt
Lake Wobegon Trail Association --------Cliff Borgerding
Trails Association---------------------------?

2) I would like to give everyone a little background as to how this project got started.
Covering the old Soo line railroad bridge over two rivers river began in 1999 with an idea by past Mayor, Rosemary Scepaniak. At that time, the railroad was being converted into the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail. Rosemary made a suggestion that maybe it would be a great idea to build a cover over the railroad bridge in the city of Holdingford. So, in 2000 the city applied for a grant, but was not successful. At a Holding in Partnership meeting a brief comment was made to Lion’s club member Joe Christensen, who in turn, mentioned this to the Holdingford Lions Club as a possible project. Lion Bob Pederson was retiring from the army and had worked on construction projects while in the service and thought that there could be a possibility that the army might consider taking on a project like this as an exercise and provide us the labor to put the structure together. So in 2005, the project began to take shape. The Lions Club agreed to tackle this project and formed a committee with Lion Rod Harren & Lion Al Leinen as co-chairs. In 2006, things started to happen. Old plans and grant papers were found and evaluated. Lion’s members Tim Berscheid & Al Leinen traveled to Madison County in Iowa to look at some covered bridges and get some ideas for the design of our bridge. An architect was hired and discussions began with the Army Reserves. In February of 2007, the Stearns County Board of Commissioners, and in March 2007 the U.S. Army Reserves approved the project. During the remainder of that year, plans and design specifications were finalized. In 2008, materials were delivered to Mankato for the 492nd Engineering Company to begin assembling the major structural components that make up the main frame of the structure. On May 2nd the 492nd arrived in Holdingford to start the project, which brings us to today, with a dream by Mayor Rosemary Scepaniak in 1999, to becoming a reality.
3) Now, I would like to introduce Mayor Ernie to say a few words.
(Ernie’s speech, thank you, etc.)
Ernie’s introduction of Lieutenant Colonel John Herman
4) A few words from Cliff Borgerding from the Wobegon Trail
5) My presentation of the plaque that will be attached to the bridge
recognizing the 492nd Engineering Company for their efforts in
the construction of the project.
6) The Lions, and the City of Holdingford want to give thanks to all of the people and businesses that have made generous contributions to this project.
7) Businesses: (As listed on funding sheet)
Northwestern Mutual
Polar Tank & Trailer
The Initiative Foundation
Stearns Bank of Holdingford
Central Minnesota Credit Union
Bernick’s Pepsi
Fastenal Company
Bremer Bank
Avon Bank
Grand Casinos
Plus many others
Organizations: (As listed on the funding sheet)
Holdingford Lions
Holdingford Legion club
Holdingford Sportsmen Club
Holdingford Commercial Club
Holdingford Women of Today
Wobegon Trail Committee
Albany Lions Club
St.Stephen’s Lions Club
Rice Lions Club
Plus many others
Ron Schmitt
Tim & Sharon Berscheid
Al & Philys Leinen
Rod & Linda Harren
Rosemary Scepaniak
Mel Muryes
Ralph Voss
Don Kolb
Vic & Betty Hayes
And to many others not mentioned that have made monetary and personal
time contributions to this project.
A huge thank you to everyone.
8) I would like to share with everyone today a few facts about the bridge: The actual length is 186’-1 ½”_feet long. That makes it the longest covered bridge in the state of Minnesota. And the 3rd longest covered recreational use bridge in the U.S. It ranks in the top 75 of the longest covered bridges in the U.S. as listed On the national covered bridge list to date. Hours dedicated to the success of this project? Too many to count.
9) Closing statements:
That concludes our ceremony for today. Again, thank you all for attending We will be serving a picnic lunch with roast pig, all are welcome Please allow the soldiers to eat first, they have a long drive home.

No comments: