Kuhns present $2,000 check to school district for books
By James Grob, firstname.lastname@example.org
The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed by the Kuhn family in Charles City, presented a $2,000 check to the Charles City School District Thursday.
“We feel so blessed that we have community partners such as Mark and the Kuhn family who just take a love for our kids and our community,” said Mike Fisher, Charles City superintendent of schools. “We are so thankful for what they do.”
Fisher said the donation will be split between Lincoln and Washington Elementary Schools to purchase new books.
The All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club (AILTC) was established on the Mark and Denise Kuhn family farm south of Charles City in 2003. Mark and Denise have farmed the property for nearly 50 years, and Mark Kuhn is a former state legislator and former chairman of the Floyd County Board of Supervisors.
“It’s my little whimsical replica of Wimbledon,” Kuhn said of the grass tennis court he has maintained on his farm for the last 19 years. Kuhn often hosts student field trips to the site so that students can learn about, see and play on Charles City’s “local Wimbledon courts.”
The Kuhns formed the non-profit foundation about a year ago, and its primary mission is to keep the court open for use by the general public “so people can come here and play.”
“People come here from all over to play on the grass court,” Kuhn said. “They offer money, and so we’ve finally decided to start accepting the money and create this foundation.”
Another part of the foundation’s mission is to help fund literacy programs and children’s reading programs. The connection between grass tennis courts and reading comes from the Kuhn’s son, Alex, who passed away in July of 2016 at the age of 34.
“One of Alex’s passions was reading to children,” Kuhn said. “He read weekly to elementary kids in Mason City.”
Alex Kuhn graduated from Charles City High School in 2000 and Iowa State University in 2004, worked on the family farm and for Henkel Construction, and served on the Mason City Council. He also spent two years as a staff assistant to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, from 2006 to 2008, and was the campaign and marketing director of United Way of North Central Iowa from 2008-2011.
Alex’s brother, Mason Kuhn, presented the check Thursday to elementary students Hadley Jensen (grade 1), Cooper Schmidt (grade 3), Neyahmiah Nelson (grade 3), and Blake Nelson (grade 1); and to Evan Martin, Charles City School District Director of Finance. Mason Kuhn is a 1996 graduate of Charles City High School and is an associate professor in elementary science education at the University of Northern Iowa.