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Spirit of the Sandbagger Public Art Project Fund

The Fargo Lions Club is commemorating its 100-year anniversary. To celebrate, the club is facilitating a public art project to be funded by the community and then donated to the City of Fargo. This project will honor the spirit, determination and cooperation of all who volunteered to protect the community from historic flooding in 1997 and 2009 by filling and laying sandbags. The project is called “Spirit of the Sandbagger.” During these floods, city leaders organized efforts to have sandbags filled and delivered to threatened homeowners and businesses. Many volunteers answered the call to help protect their neighbors. The “Spirit of the Sandbagger” was one of tenacity, resilience and hope.

To honor that spirit, the Fargo Lions Club, with support from the City of Fargo, is working to develop a lasting structure to be placed at Riverside Gardens near the bridge on 1st Avenue North and 2nd Street in downtown Fargo. The piece of public art will provide a reminder of those difficult and triumphant times.

About the Art

A Request for Proposal was issued in 2020 resulting in the selection of artists Karen Bakke and Brock Davis to design and create a gateway arch between the existing pillars that will celebrate the spirit, determination and success of the city’s residents of all ages, sexes, and background in fighting the floods. It will highlight the importance of the city’s relationship with the river—through turmoil and calm—and provide excitement and interest for the community as a whole.

Call to Action

Since it was the community that saved our cities by coming together to sandbag, the Fargo Lions Club is inviting all community members to participate in funding this artwork. Just as all contributions toward sandbagging, ongoing monitoring of dikes, pumping water that seeped through the dikes, along with making and serving food to volunteers added to the success of our efforts, all gifts to this project will enable each community member to be a part of it. We can commemorate those efforts in the community spirit that binds us together.

How to Donate

All donations are administered by the FM Area Foundation through the Spirit of the Sandbagger Public Art Project Fund.

FM Area Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and will issue receipts for donations. Gift may be made in the form of a check, an online gift, gift of securities, or a gift of IRA funds if the donor is at least age 70 ½.

Checks may be made payable to FM Area Foundation noting "Spirit of the Sandbagger" in the memo line or in an accompanying note. And sent to:

FM Area Foundation
409 7th St. S
Fargo, ND 58103

For any questions on making a donation through FM Area Foundation, please contact:

Greg Diehl, Director of Gift Planning and Donor Services
FM Area Foundation