A four-year fundraising effort to build an accessible play park in Liverpool has exceeded its goals.
The Queens Universally Designed Play Park fundraising committee had a goal of $450,000 when they launched the campaign in 2017.
Chair Debbie J Wamboldt hasn’t had a chance to compile the final total but says the community has stepped up in a big way this summer; in particular, the anonymous donor who came forward to match community donations.
“I was just so humbled and grateful for someone to say, I really want to help you. I want you guys to get across the finish line and this is how I think we can do it and I’m committed to helping you guys do it,” sad Wamboldt. “And then when the community stepped up, I was flabbergasted. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
At the beginning of August, the group needed to raise $35,000 to reach their goal.
The community pitched in and with the help of the matching donations the fundraisers took in almost $45,000, $10,000 more than they had hoped for.
Another source came from the generosity of the Fralic family who asked donations be made to the park in memory of Todd Fralic.
The community isn’t finished giving yet as the Liverpool Tim Horton’s will be donating the proceeds from the sale of their smile cookies to the play park.
Now that the funding is secured Wamboldt is keen to get a final design approved.
“The technology, even since our first talks with these companies has changed. It changes every year and the standards and things change every year so I’m super excited to see what they come up with,” said Wamboldt. “Now knowing we have a little bit more money to play with, it’s really exciting.”
Wamboldt expects to issue tender requests shortly for a company to design and build the universally designed play park.
The final design will need to meet seven standards of universal design to ensure the park can be used by people of all ages and abilities.
Wamboldt says once the design is in place and the contractor hired, she expects the park, to be located next to Queens Place, will be ready to use in spring 2022.
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