IMPACT AWARD – Jan Eichman & Stacie Eichem

Jan Eichman & Stacie Eichem were recognized for their leadership of the Indoor Pool Fundraising Committee.

While many small, rural Kansas communities are desperate for economic growth and positive evolution, Wamego has long led the way as a tightly‐woven community proud of its traditional and agricultural roots, while simultaneously and quite relentlessly eager to evolve as a progressive leader in community enhancement.

We value looking to the future and assessing what can be done to make life even better for those who live, work and play here. Toward that effort, some of our citizens banded together several years ago to identify amenities that our residents felt were lacking. It was this process that identified the need and desire for what seemed like a pipe‐dream at the time…a new aquatic center with an indoor pool facility. Over the course of several years, many people worked diligently through the process of turning that pipe‐dream into a real possibility.

While the initial phases of the project were slow and steady, the final stage came quickly and with a shockingly short timeline…this was the make‐it or break‐it stage for the indoor pool portion of the project. In order to erect the indoor pool facility alongside construction of the approved outdoor facility, the City Commissioners stated in the fall of 2017 that they would require a minimum of $250,000 in pledged donations from the community before giving the green light. On top of that, the pledges needed to be made by the end of that year! How could this possibly get done?

Enter Jan Eichman & Stacie Eichem who soon became the front faces of this new fundraising effort. Both were inexperienced in fundraising of this caliber but were determined. Quickly a committee was formed of equally inexperienced fundraisers. Committee members recall looking around at the first meeting and wondering how to accomplish their huge goal in such a short amount of time. But true to the personality and characteristics of the committee leaders, Jan and Stacie excitedly announced that they had already raised $75,000. Hello momentum!

Under Jan and Stacie’s leadership, the committee navigated six weeks of fundraising efforts to reach the commissioners’ goal and then some. Final pledges tallied over $300,000 and the project was approved for construction!

While both Jan and Stacie have served the Wamego Community in many capacities over the years, they have typically been in quieter and more under‐the‐radar roles. Here they truly displayed tremendous courage in taking on this time‐pressured challenge; making presentations, inspiring community members to support the project, and diligently pushing the committee to the finish line. Their leadership and hard work toward this accomplishment will leaves a long‐lasting positive on our community for years to come.

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