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The RAGBRAI committee is hoping to secure the return of the “God Bless America” sculpture in time for the race this summer, with funds from the race going toward making the art a permanent fixture in town.

Anamosa

In the few weeks since Anamosa was announced as an overnight stop for RAGBRAI, a lot of work has gone into preparations.

There are 20 committees that have to be formed, all of which have been filled, as meetings continue to happen to make sure the city is ready. Anamosa Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director LeeAnna Boone said the meetings are still largely informational at these early stages, but the various committees are in the process of coming up with their budgets.

The group has been in constant communication with ride Director Dieter Drake, with another meeting in Des Moines upcoming on March 5.

“It’s really nice to get that input,” Boone said.

While each committee has their own focus, like fundraising, at this stage, the biggest focus has been determining where riders are going to stay.

“The big thing right now is finding campground space,” Boone said.

At Monday night’s Anamosa City Council meeting, the city council approved $15,000 in seed money. That money will be reimbursed by RAGBRAI approximately one month before the ride. The money helps cover needed deposits and allows the committee to pay for needed expenses like making t-shirts.

In addition, Betty Weimer, who is heading up the RAGBRAI committee, told the council members that the $15,000 that the organization is giving the city to go toward a non-profit will go toward getting the God Bless America Sculpture of the “American Gothic” couple back in Anamosa.

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