Family behind new La Crescent Area Event Center reflects on completed project

It is the eve of the grand opening for La Crescent’s new 15,000 square-foot event center. Construction crews are just finishing up the final steps of the new building.

The facility will include a new banquet hall, a restaurant and a new meeting space for the La Crescent American Legion. It will also connect to the new Best Western hotel.

The family behind the project says it’s a dream come true.

“It’s been a journey,” said founding board member Sheila Wieser. “It’s not the ending but a whole new phase here in La Crescent.”

Her husband, Dick, was the brains behind the idea of the project that is six years in the making.

“We were trying to put something in our community that would be beneficial for our community,” Dick Wieser said.

The new building offers a space for American Legion Post 595. The facility is built on the old property of the legion.

“The American Legion should remain strong for a long time,” Dick Wieser said.

He understands the impact the organization has on those who have served.

“I am one of those glorious Vietnam veterans,” he said. “It was one of those trying times…but the American Legion Club in our community has spent many many millions giving back.”

The generosity didn’t stop there.

“You never build something like this without many people coming together,” Sheila said.

Those people gave donation after donation. Some of the money raised was through tiles people could purchase and have a message engraved honoring a veteran.

“It’s a legacy,” Sheila Wieser said. “It’s like a walk through history.”

Dick is facing another challenge in his life. He just went through open heart surgery less than a week ago.

“We’re not here forever,” he said.

He said he going to try to make it to the grand opening on Thursday.

“Hopefully I can cut the ribbon,” Dick Wieser said.

The grand opening of the event center will begin Thursday at 6 p.m.

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