Fundraising efforts for new Mac Center sound system underway

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 10:04

Even if you’re not hard of hearing, it’s getting a little hard to hear inside the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

“It’s old and needs upgrading for sure,” said facility manager Reid McDonald of the center’s 35-year-old sound system.

For its age, the system has held up well, McDonald said.

“It doesn’t sound too bad,” he said.

It doesn’t sound too good, either. Longtime community supporter Finis Shelden noticed he was having trouble hearing the public address announcer at youth hockey games and decided to do something about it. So Shelden — president of the Chugiak Area Business Association — started raising funds earlier this year to replace the sound system.

“When attending events, the audio is hard to hear and unclear when announcements are made,” Shelden wrote in a letter he co-wrote with Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce executive director Debbie Rinckey.

McDonald said he would welcome the new system, and recently got a replacement bid from IMIG Audio in Anchorage that priced a new system — including speakers, a new amp and the cost to install the equipment — at around 18,500.

The chamber and business association are circulating the letter in hopes of getting folks to donate for the upgrade as soon as possible.

“We need your help to keep the Harry J. McDonald Center an exceptional facility in our community,” the groups wrote.

Anyone wishing to donate to the project can contact Shelden at 229-5593 or [email protected] or Rinckey at 694-4702 or [email protected].

Though the center could get by without the upgrade, McDonald said he’s thrilled to see community members pitching in to make it even better.

“We really appreciate it,” he said.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274.

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