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Chamois group looking to restore town's bandstand

Project strikes a chord

Chamois hopes to preserve its century-old bandstand located in Riverside Park. A “Let’s Save This American Bandstand” event will be held March 15 to raise funds for preservation efforts.

Chamois hopes to preserve its century-old bandstand located in Riverside Park. A “Let’s Save This American Bandstand” event will be held March 15 to raise funds for preservation efforts.

The Chamois Historic Preservation Commission is working to restore and preserve a more than century-old bandstand in the town’s Riverside Park.

The bandstand was built between 1908 and 1910, and was originally a two-story structure. The upper level was removed in 1954.

Susan Sundermeyer, secretary of the Chamois Historic Preservation Commission, said the idea to save and restore the bandstand came up nearly a year ago.

“It represents the past, and it’s part of our history,” she said of the structure. “I think it’s important for us to know where we’re going and remember where we came from.”

Jeff Kormann, commission vice president, said the park has always been a source of pride in the community.

“It goes back to the big picnic days,” he said.

To raise money for preservation efforts, the commission is hosting a “Let’s Save This American Bandstand” event at 5 p.m. March 15 at the Chamois Community Building.

The event is centered around the theme of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. It includes the viewing of Dick Clark’s original 1957 show, dancing, dance contests, a raffle and silent auction. Dinner — mostaccioli, salads, breads, beverages and desserts — will be served from 5-8 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and children 5 and under are free.

The area’s chapter of Modern Woodmen of America will match the commission’s fundraising efforts, up to $2,500.

Sundermeyer said the commission is also accepting donations. Donations may be sent to Heritage Bank, 101 S. Main St., Chamois, Mo., 65024. Checks may be made out to Chamois Historic Preservation Commission with “Save the Bandstand” in the memo line.

Sundermeyer said she expects work to start on the bandstand this spring if fundraising goes well.

“Our Lion’s Club group and people in the community have volunteered to do the work that we can do — the repair work,” she said. “But, we would hire someone to do the steps and the upper portion again.”

She said repair and restoration efforts have already been met with enthusiasm.

“I have even heard from people as far away as Texas and Indiana that have been interested in it,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”

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