Dear Friends Near and Far,

End-of-Year Update

We wanted to get everyone an end-of-year update as while the building may be a bit quieter this 2020 Christmas season than in years past, that doesn't mean the project is slowing down!

As we announced in April, South Square is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places! A big thanks to Ashley Demaris for guiding that process.

We've added new tenant! "Simply Beautiful" Event Planning & Rentals joins the building's current tenants: Just for Kix Dance, Elementary Natural Health Center, The History Center at South Square, South Square Coffee, Clausen Colony, The Community Art Gallery, Taekwondo, Sportsmen's Youth Wrestling, and Cedar Summerstock Theater.

We’re grateful to announce we’ve received some grants over the past few months! We’ve received:

  • $19,000 in Covid Relief from the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Nonprofit Organization Fund

  • $5,000 from the Foundation for the Enhancement of Mitchell County

  • $5,000 Capacity Building Grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and by the National Endowment for the Arts

  • $2,500 from the First Citizens Bank Charitable Foundation

  • $2,500 from the Iowa Arts & Culture Emergency Relief Fund, administered by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

  • $1,000 in Covid Relief from St Ansgar State Bank


A big thanks to these grant-making organizations for their support! These grants, coupled with continued operating income and donations, mean financially we’re able to finish up the year with between $50,000-$60,000 in our bank account—which is where we finished 2019. “We’ll take it!”

Fundraising Request

In keeping with this year's unpredictability, we face our first "heavy lift" for fundraising since we began in 2017. We recently discovered a tear in our rubber roof. While quickly and professionally mended, the tear served notice that it's time for a new roof! We need your help.

The current roof (covering 15,000 square feet!) was installed in the 1980's and is past its expected lifespan. We're grateful for the time it's given us to get South Square established in the community!

Anticipating situations like this, we were grateful for Dana Wold joining our board of directors last year. Dana has experience rehabbing older buildings in North Iowa and has helped guide us through details, options, and vendors.

A new rubber roof membrane ("60-mil fully adhered EDPM" for experts in the audience) from Mason City roofer Northern Cedar Service Co. is quoted at $90,000. While expensive, this new roof's lifespan is 30-50 years, meaning few of us will ever need worry again about a new roof at South Square!

As we've been raising money for a rooftop commercial air conditioner for the gym over the past couple years (estimated at $25,000), we'd like to combine these two needs together for a late-spring installation, with a total cost of $90,000 + $25,000 = $115,000.

Our listing on the National Register of Historic Places means we have a "pretty good!" chance of receiving up to a $50,000 grant through the State of Iowa, the application for which we will submit and hear back on over the winter.

We also hope (barring any emergencies) to emerge from the winter with at least $20,000 in our bank account to put towards this project.

We're thus looking to raise: $115,000 - $50,000 - $20,000 = $45,000

Against this amount, we’ve already received pledges of $10,000, so are asking the community and alumni for $35,000

We'd love to have this amount in hand soon, but are also happy to simply receive pledges for donations in Spring 2021. We hope to have the new roof installed and paid for shortly after the snow clears.

(Note: Of course, if we don’t receive all or part of the $50,000 grant, or we need to dip into our ear-marked $20,000 over the winter to cover other, urgent repairs, we'll further fund raise for whatever gap emerges. But for now, let's be optimistic!)

Whatever amount you, your extended family, your graduating class, your social organization, or your business can offer would be WONDERFUL. All of us volunteers around South Square are always humbled and grateful for your support.

South Square is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and our address is:

South Square, PO Box 52, St. Ansgar IA 50472

Or, click on the yellow "Donate" button on this page!

Thank you, God bless, and we look forward to many more (pandemic-free!) years of activities at South Square!

The South Square Board of Directors: Ashley, Tyler, Tammy, Sheila, Dana and Our Indomitable Office Manager, Liz!