Tom and Melody Fucik purchased the historic Iola Mills in 1996.
“We fell in love with the place,” said Tom.
For the couple, the Mill offered elements of everything they loved to do; for Melody, her love of gardening and to decorate, for Tom, his love to build and restore. Both have a deep appreciation for history.
To date, three-quarters of the improvements are complete.
“Working with a historic property is always challenging,” said Tom. “There are many surprises that are not present in new architecture and there is a fine balance between historical integrity and modern building codes.”
The Fuciks are dedicated to maintaining and showcasing the Mill’s existing structure and machinery, while ensuring that the building is safe and accessible.
In the coming years, they hope that the Mill will become a venue to showcase area musicians, for people to gather for weddings and reunions, and most of all, for the Iola community to celebrate its history.
Now they need the community’s help as they work towards completion of their project.
With the help of Kickstarter.com, an all-or-nothing crowd funding site, the Fuciks hope to raise enough money to complete the mill.
“Over the next month, we will be raising money through Kickstarter to complete the restoration of the first floor of the mill,” said Tom. “We chose to raise money through Kickstarter because it creates a great sense of community. If we reach our goal, not only will we be able to make needed improvements to the Mill, but our backers will receive great rewards, including custom Iola Mills coffee mugs, pizza parties and free concerts.”
“While Kickstarter is a fundraiser, it is also a way to reach out to the community and showcase the work we’ve done so far in preserving this historic building,” Fucik said. “We need (the community’s) help to promote our campaign and reach our goal of $58,000. If we don’t reach our goal, we won’t receive any of the funds we’ve raised. It’s all or nothing.”
Anyone interested in helping with the restoration project can make a pledge by visiting www.kickstarter.com and clicking on the picture of the Iola Mill.
To date, the project has 14 backers and has raised $3,825. All pledges must be made on or before Jan. 31, and if the goal is not met, backers will not be charged.