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Lowell launches fundraising campaign to help new Showboat get afloat

Lowell City Manager Mike Burns says the new Lowell Showboat is $765,000 short of project costs. A fundraising campaign will soon be launched.

LOWELL, Mich. — For the better part of the past two months, workers have been assembling what is to become the sixth incarnation of the Lowell Showboat, which has been an icon in the community for nearly a century.

But as the boat has taken shape, the money to pay for it has been running low, forcing members of the Showboat Committee to launch a fundraising campaign to insure the community's icon is fully paid for.

"At this time, we're about $765,000 short of our project goal," said Lowell City Manager Mike Burns. "We've received $2.3 million from the state of Michigan, an additional $200,000 from the Lowell Area Community Fund as well as $400,000 in donations, but we've realized we need more."

Burns says work on the Showboat will continue as planned. Sometime in September, the massive vessel will be lifted from its current construction site and floated in the Flat River to the spot where previous versions of the Showboat sat for decades.

"The final phases of construction will be completed while the Showboat is in the water," Burns added.

Theresa Mundt and Mark Mundt are co-chairs of the Lowell Showboat Fundraising Committee. They have identified the extra expenses that have been incurred by the project which the fundraising efforts will be used to cover.

"Half of the funds will go towards finishing the interior details of the boat, which includes things like a sound system and window treatments," said Mark Mundt. "The other half will include rehabilitating the part of the old DPW building into bathrooms because there's no running water on the boat. We need to have bathroom facilities nearby."

While nearly three quarters of a million dollars seems like a lot to generate through a community fundraising initiative, Mike Burns, along with the members of the Showboat Committee, believe they can reach that goal.

"The community support is swelling greatly," Mark said. "We've already had people drop off checks and we haven't really started our campaign yet."

The Lowell Showboat Fundraising Committee will be holding a meeting at 7:00 p.m. inside the pavilion at Creekside Park. It's expected that the fundraising plan will be detailed and launched at the meeting.

The public is invited to attend. 

Those who would like to make a donation to help offset the cost of the new Showboat are asked to either reach out to the Lowell Chamber of Commerce or to the City of Lowell.

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