West Liberty Schools Superintendent, Shaun Kruger, and Activities Director, Adam Loria, met with members of the Wiele family bright and early Tuesday morning to accept a check for $50,000 from Wiele Chevrolet. The money will boost fundraising efforts for the new athletic complex and help fund a press box for the new football stadium.
“It’s hard to put into words how much a gift this size helps the district,” said superintendent Shaun Kruger. "It can take hundreds of hours of work to raise $50,000 so we are beyond grateful for the generosity of the Wiele family.”
Although the gifts come from Wiele Chevrolet, Tom Wiele made it clear this is not about promoting their business.
“This is about the kids, this is not about Wiele Chevrolet,” said Tom. “The community has been very good to us over the years, and we want to support our grandchildren, all their friends, and the families that live here. We also want to give back as a thank you to West Liberty. We believe this project will go a long way in making our community attractive to families and individuals looking for a place to call home.”
Wiele Chevrolet was started in 1972 by brothers-in-law Doug Duncan and Neil Wiele and is coming up on a 50 year anniversary this September. They also have locations in Tipton and Columbus Junction, but West Liberty is their flagship store. They started in the downtown area and then expanded out to their current location on Highway 6.
“We are very excited about this project and happy to make a contribution to help with fundraising. We have confidence in the team working on this project and think this is perfect timing for our schools,” said Kent Wiele.
In addition to giving money, several members of the Wiele family have coached high school athletics including Jeff Wiele, 10 years as head wrestling coach, Troy Wulf, 20 years as head baseball coach, Kayla Morrison, golf coach, and many other family members that help out with various youth sports programs. The grandchildren were all smiles on Tuesday morning as they piled into a Chevy truck for the photo. All of them will be impacted by the new athletic complex.
“The youth are priority number one,” said Jeff Wiele, son of Tom. “We want to do as much as we can to support our youth and youth programs.”
The project and fundraising kicked off with a press conference on March 29th, and momentum has been gathering steam ever since.
“We have several donor conversations in motion,” said Adam Loria. “It’s been amazing to see the response to this project. The community is definitely on board and stepping up to help financially. I think we’ll see a lot of sponsorships spoken for before summer.”
The new athletic complex is split into three phases. The first phase, construction of all outdoor facilities will be bid out this summer with a groundbreaking sometime in fall. The construction of the indoor facility is contingent on fundraising, but the district is feeling good about progress to date.
“We are very pleased with the progress on this project. Architect meetings, fundraising, and construction timelines are all running on schedule. This project is a game changer for West Liberty, and I’m happy to see the success to date,” said Shaun Kruger. Anyone interested in giving to the project can contact the school administration office for sponsorship level information. The district has also set up a page on their website specifically for the project and donor details.