An editorial from the Feb. 21 Tomahawk Leader
The official announcement came as part of last week’s Tomahawk School Board meeting, barely receiving the hype it actually deserved: The Harley-Davidson Foundation, through the recommendation of its Tomahawk Plant Contributions Committee, had agreed to replace the laminate floor in the Tomahawk Elementary School fieldhouse with a much safer wood-based gymnasium floor.
Harley-Davidson will contribute $165,000 – the total cost of the project!
Word had it that, while Harley-Davidson wanted to receive its well-deserved recognition, it also wanted to be sure the light shone brightly on the Hatchet Booster Club, which had spearheaded the fledgling fund-raising drive and did a lot of legwork helping to meet any foundation requirements needed to secure the funding. The two worked very closely, both Dave Duncan, Booster president, and Mike Heerhold, general manager, Harley-Davidson Tomahawk Operations, quickly acknowledged.
What can one say about such generosity by a locally-based business? Comments made at the board meeting, like being “really, really blessed,” “awesome gift” and “kind of boggles the imagination,” don’t begin to put the gesture into perspective.
Health concerns about stress fractures and other athletic injuries were at the crux of the wish-list item that was being passed from one budget year to the next. The Tomahawk School District simply didn’t have the funds for such a large capital outlay, so the Booster Club stepped into the picture. And, then Harley-Davidson wanted to join the team and stepped to the plate with a homerun.
This isn’t the first time our corporate neighbor and large employer has come to bat for local needs. Back when our Tomahawk Public Library was a $1.1 million dream in the making, Harley-Davidson stepped forward and authorized $200,000 in matching funds. The ultimate $400,000 raised help make that facility a reality.
Thank you, Harley-Davidson.