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Little Hawks set to open in February

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January 29 fundraiser to pay for unexpected expenses

“We have completed our renovation and we just have a punch list of a few items that have to be updated before its 100% final, but that should wrap up here in the next week or so,” said Katelyn Hodne, president of the Little Hawks Childcare Center Board.

The Little Hawks Childcare Center in Manilla, located in the west wing of the former Manilla school building, is headed for an opening in early February.

The board is in the final stages of hiring a director for the center.

“Once our director is hired we can move forward,” she said. “The director has to meet so many requirements to be the director, which has been a struggle; we’re lucky that we did find someone and we have people lined up to be interviewed for employees.”

The process of getting the daycare center finished has been slower than expected, and more expensive, because the state has to sign off on every step of the process.

The center has been caught in something of a “Catch-22” situation because the board can’t apply for licensure until a director has been hired.

“We can’t do anything until we have a director, and we can’t even apply for licensure until the state fire marshal has given us his final report, as well,” Hodne said.

“We are hoping by the end of the month we can have all those final steps completed.”

To help pay for unplanned expenses incurred during the later stages of the project, the board is putting on a fundraiser on January 29.

“It’s our annual steak and chicken breast supper with an auction and ‘Dueling Pianos.’ It’s to help us to raise the funds for the unexpected costs that we ran into during our remodel phase,” she said. “We had $60,000 in expenses that came about because of increased costs due to COVID, and due to requirements from the state and the fire marshal for the daycare that weren’t originally in the blueprints and in the initial estimate we received from our contractor.”

She said the board hopes to offset as much as possible from the needed $60,000 with the fundraiser.

“Money is always an issue; we have been awarded a few grants that helped us along the way but the community support has been our number one contributing factor,” Hodne said. “We’re lucky we had Jared Muhlbauer as the contractor and he did a great job.”

The Saturday, January 29, fundraiser will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. at Manilla Memorial Hall. Dinner will be served from 5 to 7 p.m., the auction begins at 7 p.m., and Dueling Pianos plays from 8 to 11 p.m.

Tickets are $40 and a reserved table costs $375.

Hodne noted that reserved tables cost more than seating for eight because the table is reserved and has better seating than general admission seating.

Tickets for the fundraiser may be purchased at Manilla City Hall or by contacting Hodne at 712-579-0318.

Individuals wishing to donate to the childcare center may send checks to:

Little Hawks Childcare Center

P.O. Box 187

Manilla, Iowa, 51454

The Little Hawks Childcare Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and contributions are tax deductible.

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