Friendship Center News - Updated September, 2020

Fall, 2020


Kitchen gutted and completely remodeled including new floor, dishwasher, refrigerater, cabinets and complete stainless steel counters except for the serving counter.  A new steel roof and 26 solar panel panels installed and connected to the grid!   Thanks to the volunteers who worked on the kitchen installation, the donors of over $12,500 in the special 50 year appeal, along with all who have donated in the past enabling us to withdraw $20,000 from FC endowment investments.  Groups are beginning to use FC with special precautions they are responsible for but FC is supplying hand santizing, wipes and solution for wiping down surfaces.



Summer, 2020




Through all these years, Friendship Center has flourished as a camp and retreat center through

monetary donations and the priceless service of hundreds of volunteers. It’s been a wild and

wonderful ride. Thank you for your past generosity and support as well as your participation in

Center activities and group rentals.


Friendship Center has been established in its present location in the mid 1970’s with most of the

building, improvements and maintenance achieved by volunteers. In addition to the annual

Children’s Camp, other groups have found it an ideal place to gather with friends and family to

enjoy nature. Friendship Center has no paid staff and it has been through generous donations

that we have been able to keep our rates low and provide camperships to low income kids

attending the Children’s Camp.


Friendship Center’s first Children’s Camp was in 1970 when Mary (Witchie) Konle and Mary

Ann Steckling provided reading instruction to children, mostly from Milwaukee Public Schools,

who were resistant to learning and school because of low reading skills. Gradually the focus of

the Children’s Camp evolved from reading and outdoor fun to learning about the natural world

through art, science, language arts and outdoor activities.


Unfortunately, Covid-19 has limited the use of Friendship Center this fiftieth year. We are

taking advantage of this gap by embarking on some major improvements. We would so appreciate

your help with two different projects:

• Friendship Center has always used your donations carefully. The original 1976 kitchen cupboards

and countertops are an example. After decades of use they are worn out making the

kitchen difficult to maintain and keep clean. The board is proposing that new cupboards,

countertops and a dishwasher be economically acquired and installed. The estimated cost is

twelve thousand dollars.


• Friendship Center uses a great deal of electricity with baseboard heaters, a well, water heater

and range/oven. Buying electricity is a big part of our budget even with the use of our wood

stoves for heat. The building’s shingled roof will soon need replacing. A long lasting steel

roof, costing about $5000 and adding solar panels costing about $20,000 would eliminate

electric costs. These savings would pay for the investment in about 15 years.


We hope everyone who has been involved with Friendship Center will join us in meeting the

challenge of financing these projects. Any contribution will be important in helping us achieve

our goal. Several supporters have offered a challenge grant, matching donations up to $6000.


Many people who have stayed at Friendship Center keep coming back year after year to not only

make use of the rustic facilities for a reasonable fee, but also to enjoy the peace, quiet and

restorative power of the beautiful Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin. Please join us in this

effort to ensure Friendship Center is a sustainable resource for many years and generations to





Dave Pearson, President; Bill Briska, Vice President; Nancy Pickett, Secretary; Judy Campbell, Treasuer;

Board Members: Children's Camp Director Karen Tennessen, Julie Pearson; Steve McNutt; Greg Baker; 

Gretchen Pearson


Friendship Center is recognized as a Charitable Organization by the State of Wisconsin, License

#780, and the Internal Revenue as described in section 501(c)(3). Your donation is greatly appreciated

and is also tax deductible.

Checks payable to Friendship Center.

Address: 3973 Evans Quarry Road, Dodgeville, WI. 53533

3973 Evans Quarry Road, Dodgeville, WI 53533 â—† (608)230-5690 â—† â—†


Ice Climbing

Each winter two groups of Indiana University students drive from Bloomington, Indiana eight hours each way to stay at Friendship Center and ice climb at Governor Dodge State Park. Hopefully they will again have enough ice to climb again next year! 

Remodeling Update

The old showers have been remodeled.

Storage and office space

New bedroom and storage area

Newly painted kitchen with new shelves



Friendship Center Scholarship Fund

Board members Vince Kavaloski and Dave Pearson have started a special scholarship fund for children who have attended Friendship Center’s children camps in past years and in the future. The fund has been invested in a socially responsible PAX World Balanced Fund and will be available to campers who have participated in our Children’s Camp and have completed High School, assisting them with higher education expenses, whether college or technical school. It is hoped that the FC Scholarship

Fund will further motivate FC Campers to do well and stay in school. If you would like to donate to this fund, please send your donation to: Friendship Center 3973 Evans Quarry Road Dodgeville WI 53533 Friendship Center is recognized as a Charitable Organization by the State of Wisconsin, License #780, and the Internal Revenue EIN 23-7112657 as described in section 501(c)(3). Your donation is greatly appreciated and is also tax deductible. Thank you to all who have contributed to this fund.

Thanks to all the volunteers who have made Friendship Center more user friendly, clean and efficient.