Leaders of the Tipp Pride Association (TPA) citizens group working to raise more than $5 million for a new stadium said Monday, Feb. 20, they need volunteers with a variety of skills along with notable checks to build momentum.

Mashell Stith, TPA president, and Scott George, vice president, discussed organization efforts since the board of education voted in January to locate a stadium project at City Park.

The association met recently in a strategic planning session and set priorities including

fundraising, communication, team member skills/talents and construction, a project aspect also involving the city and school district, George said.

“Knowing that we have about $8,000 in bank and need to raise $5 million to $6 million, we have a long way to go so immediately began to focus on fund raising,” George said.

Hopes are to solidify fundraising strategies this weekend – including naming rights and sponsorships - to begin getting checks to start building momentum.

“People are excited and want to believe it but are not sure we can raise $5 to $6 million in private funds … That is why we are here. We believe we can do it and are willing to work to do it,” George said.

He said TPA representatives had talked with organizers of other stadium efforts to learn from their experiences.

Information on the “Prestigious T300 Club” fundraiser was passed out by Stith who said the T300 Club would be made up of the first 300 individuals, families, Tippecanoe classes or school groups to donate $1,000.

Around $25,000 to $30,000 first is needed to pay for professional construction drawings to allow for construction estimates, Stith said.

To allow the group to focus first on needed fundraising, a gala fundraiser planned for March is being moved to the spring, she said.

“It is going to take a lot of people to get this done,” Stith said.

Among skills needed are those with fundraising experience, graphic design and traditional marketing skills and persuasive writing in addition to an array of other tasks, George said.

Around 25 people attended Monday’s meeting at the public library.

George said several meetings on the project are planned including one with lawyers to discuss who – the schools, city, TPA - would handle bidding, finances and other aspects of any project.

JD Foust, high school athletic director, told the group a corporate sponsor has given a verbal commitment to paying for the new stadium field, which would cost around $750,000.  He gave a brief outline of the proposed stadium project layout and discussed briefly city council’s verbal commitment to around $350,000 worth of support and in-kind service for a stadium project.

Whether a project would be done in phases or at one time would be determined by how much money is committed in coming months, Stith said.

For more information on Tipp Pride Association and its efforts visit www.tipppride.com. TPA also is on Facebook.