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Musical Fountain fundraising picks up steam

Alexander Sinn • Nov 30, 2018 at 2:00 PM

A campaign to upgrade the Musical Fountain is picking up ground this holiday season through various donations and fundraisers.

A sneak peek event for the Noto’s at the Bil-Mar restaurant on Tuesday pulled the campaign closer to its goal of raising $150,000 for the fountain project. The Noto’s event gathered around $4,700 toward the goal, according to Musical Fountain chairman Andy Cawthon, bringing the total raised so far to around $48,000.

On Thursday, Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis served as guest barista at the Jumpin’ Java coffee shop in an effort to keep the “Sound Investment” project going.

The Tri-Cities Women Who Care group donated $26,000 in September.

During the downtown Light Night event, 74 copies of the $20 Grand Haven-opoly game were sold. The game is available at The Bookman, Borr’s Shoes and Desserts by Design.

The city has promised up to $15,000 in matching funds to donations raised at an auction at the Eagles in January.

Cawthon said the campaign is aiming to reach the fundraising goal by January 2019.

The funding will help purchase a new system to improve the fountain’s sound quality while maintaining the range, Cawthon said, which is intended to reach from about Snug Harbor to Nautical Knots along the Grand Haven channel.

The current system is aging beyond repair and the sound is distorted, Cawthon said.

“What people notice is that, periodically at the high end and low end of the tonal range, there’s a lot of distortion,” he explained. “The design of the sound system at 25 years old only has a high end and a bass range. There’s no midrange.”

About $30,000 of the funding will support modification of the buildings that house the sound system to elevate the speakers to increase range. The majority of the funds would purchase a new 38-watt sound system, Cawthon said.

“If you imagine changing out your home stereo, imagine doing that times 38,” he said.

Grants and sponsorships are also part of the plan, Cawthon said. Sponsors are wanted at $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 levels for a year. Each level sponsor is awarded benefits.

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