• 80 businesses, 20 individuals pledge to 'prosperous future'
BROOKINGS – Mission accomplished – and then some.
The goal of the Vision Brookings II campaign (VBII) was $2.5 million; the amount raised was $2,510,910.
The success story was announced Monday in a joint statement from three of the Vision Brookings Coalition founding members: the Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Brookings Inc.
The coalition was formed to improve the economic climate of Brookings and Brookings County.
VBII campaign co-chair Jay Bender thanked the staff, volunteers and investors for "making a positive difference for every business and citizen in the area."
He added, "The Brookings area is fortunate to have businesses and individuals with a common vision who are willing to invest their time and treasure to help make great things happen for all."
Vision Brookings was launched in 2005 as a five-year economic and community development fundraising initiative. Its purpose was to create opportunities for generating new jobs and improving quality of life in the community. That first VB campaign leveraged nearly $8 million in grant funds to produce an economic impact of more than $180 million during a tough national economy, according to the BEDC.
Bender said that Vision Brookings has played a role in the addition of 700 housing units, a population increase of 3,500 and a workforce increase of 1,025. All that activity has helped Brookings grow to become the state's fourth-largest city.
Following up where the first Vision Brookings campaign left off, the funds raised by VBII will be used over the next five years on initiatives that include:
• Business expansion and recruitment: $1 million
• Expansion of the Inno-vation Campus: $500,000
• Workforce develop- ment: $250,000
• Entrepreneurship: $500,000
• Management and communications: $250,000
About 80 businesses and 20 individuals made pledges in support of VBII. BEDC Executive Director Al Heuton said that support "indicates the desire and commitment of the Brookings community to build a positive economic future."
He added, "These initiatives will be significant in developing new and innovative opportunities for Brookings."
The range of VBII Honor Roll contribution levels were: Platinum – $100,000 or more; Gold – $50,000 to $99,999; Silver – $25,000 to $49,999.
"Brookings Benefactors" included those who donated $5,000 to $24,999, and "Investors" gave up to $5,000.
For more information on Vision Brookings, visit www.visionbrookings.com.