Jefferson Rotary Club sponsors youth admissions to Mahanay Bell Tower

Kicking off celebration of local Rotary’s centennial

Hundreds of young people, like these children from the Greene County Early Learning Center, will have the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds from the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower for free this year, thanks to a sponsorship by the Rotary Club of Jefferson.

“Our club is happy to sponsor admissions for youth aged 18 and under as we kick off our celebration of 100 years of serving the community,” said Tori Riley, who will become president of the club for its centennial year 2021-2022.

The club’s sponsorship supports the Bell Tower Community Foundation’s vision that all children be able to hear the story of the Mahanays’ philanthropy and experience seeing the countryside and rooftop art from the Paul Nally Observation Deck, all opportunities that have made the tower Iowa Tourism’s rural 2021 Outstanding Attraction.

Children from the Early Learning Center are back row, from left: Adam, Logan, Clarissa and Ava. Front row, from left: Ariyah, Axton, and Aiden. Jefferson Rotarians in the back, from left: Jacque Andrew, board member, Steve Schwaller, secretary, Tori Riley, president-elect, and Jon Law, president.

Hy-Vee sponsors youth admissions for 2018

Hy-Vee of Jefferson is the 2018 sponsor for all youth to tour the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower free of charge.  All visitors 18 years of age or younger will be free and adult admission is $3.  Lori Subbert of Hy-Vee of Jefferson is pictured with a group of children who recently rode the elevator to the Paul Nally Observation Deck at 120 ft. high to see the spectacular view and hear the 47 bell carillon.  

Bell Tower Community Foundation board member Jean Feldmann spoke with Lori about the sponsorship and shared that 2,123 youth 18 years and under visited the Tower in 2017 which is an increase of 322 over 2016.  Almost 1,000 more people toured the Tower in 2017 than the year before with total admission reaching 6,000.  The Foundation has decided to extend the daily hours through the month of September this year with visitors and students of all ages wishing to experience the autumn season.  The Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower started their daily hours of 10 am – 4 pm over the Memorial Day weekend.  

This sponsorship is appreciated by families of all ages as residents and visitors bring their children and grandchildren to the Tower.  Pat Richards, Bell Tower staff coordinator, reports that daycare groups, youth organizations, and school classes are able to experience the Bell Tower through this generous sponsorship. The Bell Tower rack cards and an “Eye Spy” scavenger hunt is popular for kids will include Hy-Vee’s logo.  Hy-Vee’s sponsorship is also noted on the front door.