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Help Us Celebrate 40 Years
on the Prairie with a
Gift of Wind-spiration

Dear Friends of the Danish Windmill,

It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since Harvey Sornson's "impossible dream" became a reality. The 1848 Danish Windmill from Nørre Snede towers proudly above the rich fields of Iowa prairie, an ever-present reminder of our agricultural heritage and the land that was settled by our Danish ancestors.

The Mill has served generations of families over the span of its 167 years, from the field to the mill and from the mill to the table. Today, as an educational and historical museum, it is a unique and irreplaceable part of our culture and community. It is vital we take steps to ensure the Windmill's continued story.

With that in mind, we are reaching out to ask you to please consider supporting the Mill through a charitable donation or a contribution to the Danish Windmill Endowment Fund. Both offer great tax incentives to you and your gift will help to strengthen the Mill's financial reserves in order to fund its historic preservation needs today and help sustain it in the years to come.

Help us Start the Mill Turning Again...Now
There is a need to make some immediate repairs to the Windmill because it has not been turning for several months now. Summer's extreme heat, followed by last year's harsh Iowa winter, took a serious toll on the Mill. It shifted the mechanical structure of its sails and the brackets that hold the shutters bringing the mill to a standstill for safety reasons.

The Mill is a very old machine and we need a millwright with expertise in historic restoration and preservation to get it turning again.
We have been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Shelby County Community Foundation toward funding this priority. We are asking for your help in raising additional funds and providing in-kind and volunteer support as well.

Last month, Ole Pedersen came from Denmark to inspect the mill mechanics and also found rot in some of the timbers of the 67 foot long sails. In October renowned Danish historic mill expert, Lise Andersen, and millwright, Michael Jensen will come to Elk Horn October 6-14 to further assess the repairs and perform some maintenance. They will also present an historic mill maintenance seminar that will help us better understand how to strategically plan for the Mill's preservation needs. Here is an overview of the restoration project.

…and Keep it Turning for the Future
Over the years, the Danish Mill Corporation has limited its fundraising to an annual appeal for donations from individuals in the local community supplemented by drives for restoration and capital projects, as we did last year for the mortgage.

In planning for the long-term welfare of the Mill, the Board formed the Danish Windmill Endowment Fund, which is managed by the Omaha Community Foundation.

The Endowment creates a perpetual source of funds that will be invested and earnings used to provide ongoing annual support, limited to 4.5 percent per year, for the Mill's programs, operations and special projects. Iowa residents become eligible to receive a 25% Endow Iowa tax credit for each donation, in addition to any federal tax benefits for which you qualify. The credits are available on a statewide first-come, first-served basis.

By contributing to the established Danish Windmill Endowment Fund, you can help assure that future generations will be able to experience the Danish cultural heritage and traditions that shaped our way of life on the Iowa prairie.

What is the Windmill's Danishness all about?
We find that in preserving our cultural heritage, our Danish Windmill plays an essential role in helping to sustain our community development. It gives our Villages a sense of place, pride, and uniqueness. It is the icon and foundation of our communities. We celebrate and promote our Danishness as ethnic, cultural, and heritage tourism. It is a clean industry, provides jobs, stimulates the local economy and brings in new dollars. Most importantly it helps keep our Danish Heritage alive.

We would welcome a gift of any amount. You can send a check, make a donation here on the website, or contribute to the Danish Windmill Endowment Fund. Proceeds from the online store and gift shop purchases also support the programs and upkeep of the Windmill Museum. The Mill is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Of course, for a substantial contribution, we would consider a formal recognition of the gift by dedicating some aspect of the complex in the donor's honor. Again, we appreciate your past financial support and I will be more than happy to meet with you should you wish to discuss the Mill further. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff, we thank you for considering a potential gift.

Mange tak,

Lisa Steen Riggs, Manager

Keep the Mill Turning Donation Link

Contact Info |

The Danish Windmill

P.O. Box 245, 4038 Main
Elk Horn, Iowa 51531
(712) 764-7472