Over the past week the Tod Engine Foundation has brought in $9,000 for the Tod Engine House construction project! The money represents a $2,000 gift from Daniel Becker of Struthers, OH, $2,000 from the sale of an asset and $5,000 gift from the William B. Pollock Co. Foundation. The Pollock check arrived in the mail today, and I was literally dancing around the engine with it in my hand! :-)
My 12 year old dream of saving the Tod Engine and restoring it is coming true, piece by piece. With these latest donations the purchase of the steel building will be fully funded. There is still one more contribution that we are expecting, and when that comes in the foundation work for the building will be fully paid for. There is still much more to do and I will be working on the second phase of our capital campaign, but for now its time to sit back and appreciate just how far we have come.
Just think, in 1995 when I discovered the Tod Engine, it was sitting deep in an active steel mill scheduled for demolition. I was 22 years old, never been in a steel mill before in my life, had no money and no idea what I was doing. The first miracle was getting North Star Steel to donate the engine, which had a high scrap value to them. The next miracle was getting 250 tons of parts taken apart, moved and stored and do it for under $10,000. The Tod family paid for half of that and I maxed out a credit card to pay the rest.
Four years went by before I found a piece of property that I could afford to buy for the engine. Some may not think it to be the ideal location but for what I could afford its better than nothing. So I forked over another 15k to buy the land (I'm still paying that line of credit off). Then it took another six years to move all the parts to the new site, and much more money. I don't keep track of how much of my personal money goes into the project but as you can tell from the ratty truck I drive I don't spend anything on me!
During 2007 we decided to go big time, set our sights high and put up a good quality steel building for the engine. With the leadership of the Tod family we have raised $18,500 from local foundations this year, bringing the total income of the Foundation to over $40k. 2008 we will continue to build upon this and raise additional money to finish off the building and grounds while I spend all of next summer actually erecting the structure.(I don't hire contractors, I'll do all this work myelf).
Come 2009 we hope that our building will be finished and the engine cosmetically restored enough to hold an official grand opening for the Tod Engine Heritage Park!
So its a very Merry Christmas here at the Tod Engine Foundation! I can't believe the incredibly good year 2007 has been to us. Thanks everyone for your continued support of our project. God bless!