Most of the acknowledgments can be summarized by including a reprint of the following letter which was printed in both the Pennington County COURANT, and the Rapid City Journal.
Open Letter as printed: (May 6, 2000)
"I would like to take this opportunity to express gratitude to the Quinn Town Council and the people of Quinn for originally welcoming the presence of Badlands Observatory into the former Quinn Community Hospital building. I am especially appreciative of the way the Town Council and the WREA were able to work out a plan to provide protective adjustment and shielding to the street lights. This will allow Badlands Observatory to experience observing conditions normally found only at very remote sites, and will greatly enhance both scientific work, as well as public use of the observatory.
As many people are aware, Badlands Observatory suffered a severe setback last year because of a disastrous fire. Work has progressed very well since then and, as a result, the observatory will be ready to commence operation in the very near future. Fortunately, enough of the structure and equipment were salvaged in order to justify completion of the project, albeit on a more limited scale than originally planned. There are no immediate plans to rebuild the burned out sections of the building. However, the large center section may eventually be used as a sheltered observation deck for having special meetings and star parties using smaller, portable telescopes.
I expressed appreciation last year, for all the efforts that were extended on my behalf, by many people, but it deserves repeating at this time. I would like to again offer sincere thanks and gratitude to all the Volunteer Fire Departments as well as many individuals who not only helped contain the blaze, but also prevented its spread within the community. Amazingly, fire departments present from the local area were from Quinn, Wall, Wasta, Phillip, and New Underwood. Also present from the Black Hills area were the Box Elder, North Haines, Whispering Pines, Black Hawk, Rapid Valley, Rockerville, and Johnson Siding fire departments, plus the fire unit from Ellsworth Air Force Base. In addition, the Pennington County Search and Rescue team, the Pennington County Fire Administrator, the Pennington County Sheriffs Dept., and the Wall Ambulance were also present. I must also express thanks for the excellent assistance I received from the Rapid City Chapter of the American Red Cross. In addition, there were many fine friends and neighbors from both Wall and Quinn who were extremely helpful to me during this difficult time. I would like to mention names but choose not to, for fear of leaving someone out. They all know who they are...I will be forever grateful! Last, but not least, I must acknowledge the tremendous support put forth by the members of the Black Hills Astronomical Society in Rapid City. Their tireless participation since the very beginning of this project has resulted in a facility that I believe will be a real asset to the area. I could not have done it without them.
The following BHAS members have been a tremendous asset to the successful completion of Badlands Observatory through their generous donation of time and materials, as well as monetary contributions.
Joe Kocherhans Georgia O'Connor
Pete Hendricksen Garner Anderson
Pam Hendricksen George Gladfelter
John McClure Don Jarvinen
In addition, special thanks is given to the following individuals (non-BHAS members) who have also contributed directly to this project.
Walt Comer, Rapid City, SD -- Donated drive motors for dome rotation
Al Roman, Rapid City, SD -- Donated air conditioning system
Dennis Dyvig, Powell, WY -- Donated computer
Tom Dyvig, Gillette, WY -- Donated computer
David Trustem, Powell, WY -- Donated construction work
Don & Susie Cuppy, Quinn, SD -- Donated furniture
Admirable commercial work was performed by:
Precision Welding & Machine, Rapid City, SD --Custom welding and machine work on the telescope
Badlands Observatory would also especially like to thank the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, and Tom Durkin in particular, for generously hosting this website and providing the expertise to create it.
Unfortunately, there are no doubt others who have been overlooked ... when they are brought to mind, they will be added.
A full days work assembling the dome. (L-R) Michael O'Connor, Kolter Slater, John McClure, J.D. Livermont, Steve Parker,Ron Dyvig, Joe Kocherhans, Pete Hendricksen Not pictured: Garner Anderson
Toasting the installation of the telescope. (L-R) Michael O'Connor, Joe Kocherhans, Pete Hendricksen, Ron Dyvig, Steve Parker Not pictured: Ken Wootten, Garner Anderson, Georgia O'Connor
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