Generous community donors – spurred by a challenge from David Marck, a La Crosse native who is an acclaimed jazz pianist – raised more than $42,000 to purchase and maintain a grand piano for the Logan Middle School Auditorium.
Of the total, $23,000 came from the Bob and Jean Marck Family Fund of the La Crosse Community Foundation, which was established in memory of the longtime owners and operators of Community Camera in Downtown La Crosse. Bob Marck passed away in 2010 and Jean in 2013. Most of the remaining funds were raised through a fundraising campaign led by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.
The School District of La Crosse has been gradually working to restore the Logan Middle School Auditorium with improved sound and lighting. Currently, the only piano available is an upright piano, which is not acoustically loud enough to be heard over large instrument ensembles, nor is it suitable for collegiate or professional use.
In 2015, David Marck had the opportunity to tour the auditorium and see first-hand the potential for a grand piano for the great hall. His family initially pledged $10,000 if a similar amount could be raised from other donors — and later increased that with added grants.
“Our folks strongly believed that the Coulee Region is an extraordinary place to live and work, to grow and thrive,” said David Marck. “They felt deeply about the need to make community connections while having fun doing it. My sisters and I are grateful to continue their joyous legacy by helping with this project.”
The new piano will be installed this summer and a dedication ceremony is being planned for early September with an after-school workshop for students led by David Marck. Details on the event, and recognition for all of the donors who supported the project, will be available at a later date.