Guttenberg Industries donates to Wave of the Future

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By Molly Moser

When the Guttenberg Municipal Swimming Pool was built in 1974, another development was also taking place – the Ertl family was opening Guttenberg Industries. Having supported the local economy for the past four decades, the Ertl family and their company are going the extra lap for the Wave of the Future. They recently announced a $50,000 donation to the campaign for a new swimming pool in Guttenberg. 

“It’s very important to the family and the company that we provide a safe environment for children to have a place to learn to swim, rather than learning how to swim in the uncertain currents of the Mississippi River,” said Deb (Ertl) Moser, Guttenberg Industries Accounting Manager.

“The swimming pool is a good recruitment tool for us just as for all the businesses. Similar to our hospital, our schools, and the Shannon Athletic Complex, young people moving into the community are looking for all these opportunities and extra activities we have in town,” she added. 

John and Patricia Ertl, founders of the company, have enjoyed their own backyard pool for over 30 years and understand all too well the demands of pool maintenance, like cleaning, repairs, and chemical balance. “We hope that by going public with our donation, it will inspire others to give to the project,” said Patricia.

“A swimming pool is a great asset to the community,” said their son Tom Ertl, Human Resources Manager. Son Bill Ertl, a participant in the family business for 25 years who currently works in accounting, added, “Young families need the pool. I don’t want to see it disappear.”

Guttenberg Industries revealed its donation during the first meeting of the Wave of the Future capital campaign cabinet on Aug. 3. Approximately 40 community stakeholders attended the meeting, where they were briefed on the history of the project and the research that the Wave of the Future committee has conducted with help from Burbach Aquatics. 

The cabinet met again on Thursday, Aug. 17, in preparation for their mission of educating citizens and inviting them to help with the project. Cabinet members practiced answering questions and asked their own questions of the Wave of the Future committee and Burbach Aquatics, leaving no stone unturned. Discussion covered the future bond vote, project financials, pool fees, issues with the current pool, tax impact on property owners, and many of the ideas brought up by the Ertl family – viewing the swimming pool as an asset to recruiting industry, workers and families. 

“I know we will be successful in this. This is what makes a community strong,” said capital campaign cabinet co-chair Dr. Jim Osterhaus. “You have to keep working on your community.” 

Over the next four weeks, the committee will be hosting neighborhood gatherings, visiting with neighbors and organizations, and planning fundraising events to create awareness and answer questions about the Wave of the Future project.

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