2012 Young Professionals project

A local group of individuals came forward in April 2012, stemming from the Young Professionals Group to determine interest in a community-based fitness center. After positive feedback from fitness surveys sent to Elma area residents in late May, it is becoming a reality! The name of the new facility is The Elma Area Wellness Center, Inc. or EAWC for short, to be  located in the former Red Wagon building 501 Busti Avenue.  501c3 non-profit corporation status is applied for, articles of incorporation are written and the board of directors established. Original board members are shown above; current board members include: President-Jamie Gansen, Treasurer-Brad Shatek along with other members Jan Kruger, Jennifer Rapenske, and Deb Schroeder. The building underwent massive remodeling, utilizing mostly volunteer labor (to date more than 1000 volunteer hours went into this project! This will be a non-profit community center, run by volunteers, and open 24 hours per day/7 days per week to members utilizing an electronic key card for access. Hours worked will qualify for high school silver cord/community service or confirmation service hour requirements!  Contact board any board member listed above to join! Initial fundraising of over $100,000 has been achieved for the building reconstruction & purchase of equipment. However, there remains a “wish list” for additional equipment or comfort items (fans!) for the EAWC as well as future construction needs including a handicap-accessible entrance that will require additional donations going forward. Please make your tax-deductible contributions payable to BRIDGE with EAWC noted in the memo section and mail to EAWC at P.O. Box 35, Elma IA 50628. The winner of the logo designing contest was Josie Gansen.

Also from the many designs submitted, an EAWC motto was chosen “Good for you.  Good for Life.” submitted by Kelly Bodermann.

New members always welcome! Please support this community endeavor!

FAQs (frequently asked questions):

What is Elma Area Wellness Center Inc?
The Elma Area Wellness Center Inc (EAWC) plans to provide area residents recreational, social, and enrichment opportunities through quality programs and services at a reasonable cost to members and the community.

We are in the process of forming a non profit organization. Current board members include: Jamie Gansen (President), Angie Huffman (Vice-President), Brad Shatek (Treasurer), Erin Ludwig (Secretary), Jennifer Johnson, Ryan McDermott, and Ann O’Brien.

Committees have been formed. Chairs/Co-chairs of the committees are: Renovation & Building Maintenance: Ken Gansen; Equipment & Operations: Jamie Gansen & Angie Huffman; Fundraising/Finance: Erin Ludwig & Brad Shatek; Marketing: Ann O’Brien; and Volunteers: Ryan McDermott.

We are renovating the “Red Wagon” building on Busti Ave. The south side will be an area for classes such as Zumba, dance, spinning, etc. The north side will include a variety of workout equipment including cardio equipment (ex. treadmills, ellipticals and bikes) and weight equipment. EAWC has already secured a 10-piece hydraulic circuit training set that was used at a former Curves facility. There will also be a media library with both print and DVD/VCR programs that members can use to individualize their own classes.

How much will memberships be? Will the EAWC be self sustaining?
The membership fee structure is yet to be set, but based on input from a survey completed last spring we are hoping to have single memberships run around $25 per month and provide family membership discounts. Based on projected expenses and survey results, we believe the wellness center will be able to sustain itself.

When will it be open?
The EAWC will be accessible to members 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week; members will be given electronic access codes and we will have security cameras. We hope to have funds raised by December 1 and want to be open in early 2013!

What are you fundraising for?
Our goal is to raise $125,000. Building renovation and furnishing costs are estimated at $75,000. Renovations will include a new roof, insulation, some new flooring, adding bathrooms, etc. Equipment costs (treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, etc.) are estimated at $50,000.

How will donors be recognized?
We plan to have a “wall of donors” within the EAWC. It is up to the donor on IF and HOW they wish to be listed. We will honor those who donate financially as well as those who volunteer their time and talents. We are seeking financial donors at the following levels:

  • $10,000 and up
  • $5,000-$9,999
  • $2,000-$4999
  • $1,000-$1,999
  • Other


How else can I support this initiative?
The success of the EAWC will be dependent upon volunteers to assist in a variety of ways! We will need volunteers to assist with renovation, building and equipment maintenance, class coordination, member orientation, marketing, cleaning, data entry, and more! If you have time and talents that you are willing to share – please let any of the board or committee members know! The success of the EAWC will be a community effort!

How much has EAWC raised so far?
As of November 2, 2012 we have raised over $65,000. We are also pursuing grants and additional sources of funding.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. The Elma Area Wellness Center Inc. is in the process of becoming a non-profit organization. In the meantime, Elma’s community betterment organization, The BRIDGE Organization, Inc., has agreed to serve as a fiscal agent until we get our official non-profit status. Please make all checks out to The BRIDGE Organization and note EAWC on the check.

Donations can be mailed to Elma Area Wellness Center, PO Box 35 Elma Iowa 50628. Feel free to contact any of the board members with questions including Jamie Gansen, President, at 641-393-2173 or gansen@golfelma.com. or Brad Shatek at 641-330-8646 or bshatek@psbiowa.com.

Posted: November 2, 2012 in Elma History