OUR OPINION: Marcil family’s gift makes exceptional difference
Herald employees always are happy to be associated with Forum Communications, the company that owns the newspaper. But there are times when the pride runs especially deep, and this is one of those times. Last week, the Community Foundation announ...
Herald employees always are happy to be associated with Forum Communications, the company that owns the newspaper. But there are times when the pride runs especially deep, and this is one of those times.
Last week, the Community Foundation announced that Forum Communications Co. Chairman William C. Marcil and his family have given $300,000 to the 42nd Street Arts Corridor Project in Grand Forks.
The gift is the project’s first major contribution. But it won’t be the last, because as fundraisers for major campaigns know, winning that first major contribution is the biggest challenge.
The second, third and 23rd and 53rd gifts almost always are easier because the first donor’s endorsement has so strongly confirmed the project’s legitimacy. The “bandwagon effect” also comes into play, because once the giving starts to pick up speed, more and more people want to jump on board.
So, the fundraising for the arts corridor now can and will proceed in earnest. And all of the donors from now on likely will be influenced in some way by the Marcil family’s vote of strong and generous support.
Importantly, the gift also sets a standard in this way: It tells the world that the artworks being envisioned for the corridor are going to be substantial and impressive. Some $250,000 of the $300,000 gift will go to the corridor’s first sculpture. That’s a significant sum in the sculpture world and should land a major piece, thereby setting a very high standard for the dozens of other sculptures to follow.
So, with their gift, the Marcil family has gone a long way toward making sure that the 50-scuplture arts corridor, once completed, will be a major attraction, one that remains popular for many decades among residents and visitors alike.
In short, this major gift was exactly what the arts corridor needed and came at exactly the right time. And thanks to the donation, the odds of the completed corridor becoming an impressive and delightful reality have just gone way up.
Grand Forks, its Community Foundation and others can speak for themselves and are sure to thank the Marcils, if the groups haven’t done so already. But Herald employees also want to express their own institutional gratitude. It’s rare that a corporate owner in another city - especially a sometimes rival city - takes a personal interest in a branch community’s quality of life. But the Marcil family is one such owner, and the family’s efforts to make Grand Forks a more prosperous and welcoming place are deeply appreciated.
So, from their employees at the Herald - all of whom are excited to watch Grand Forks progress - to the Marcil family, whose thoughtful generosity is helping to make that progress happen: Thanks. Many thanks indeed.