The new Sitka Community Playground project has been designed (see concept video at bottom of story), and now we need to raise funds to purchase equipment that inspires play and imagination in our children.
The next meeting to help organize the FUNdraising campaign will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Oceanside Physical Therapy Center (on Halibut Point Road next to True Value). This is a rescheduled meeting, since Thursday was so icy the original meeting was postponed. We will meet to work on fundraising strategies to build the first American Disabilities Act-compliant playground in Sitka.
Doors open for the fundraising dinner at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Sitka Elks Lodge, and the event features a dessert auction after a meal of lasagna and salad coordinated by Beth Short-Rhoads. Sitka Community Playground sweatshirts also will be available, and meals can be delivered. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids.
The raffle costs $10 per ticket, with first prize a $1,000 gift certificate to Sea Mart, second prize a $500 gift card from Petro Marine, and third prize is $250 in yelloweye rockfish fillets from Sitka Sound Seafood. The tickets will be drawn at noon on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Sea Mart. Tickets will be available for sale from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14; and from 2-6 p.m. on Saturdays, Jan. 21 and Jan. 28. They also can be found at various locations in town, such as the Pioneer Bar, that carry raffle tickets, or you can contact Ken Creamer of the Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge (747-8903 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to buy tickets.
In addition to these two fundraisers, the playground project group has planned or hosted several other fundraisers, including a day when local LuLaRoe distributors donated nearly $2,000 in sales to the project. There also were two Thanksgiving fundraisers — a pie sale Nov. 22-23 at AC Lakeside and the Sitka Community Hospital’s annual Turkey Trot on Nov. 24 — that raised more than $5,000 combined. Sitka Community Playground sweatshirts are now available for $45 and t-shirts are available for $25, stop by SAIL or look for them on sale around town.
While the group has been hosting smaller fundraising events, it also has been developing its strategy for making larger requests to corporations and applications for grants. If the project is fully funded it will take about $700,000. A list of the various playground items and their costs is posted below, and people or organizations can sponsor specific pieces of playground equipment. Click this link to hear a recent KCAW-Raven Radio morning interview with committee member Bridget Hitchcock to learn more about the project.
Local landscape architect Monique Anderson and artists Laura Kaltenstein hosted a Design Day for kids and parents in April, and other artists have met with students at local schools. Those ideas have been refined (see the new video at the bottom of this post), and now we’re ready to take the next step — raising money to get the playground built.
The Sitka Community Playground is a community wellness project from the 2015 Sitka Health Summit, and the goal of the project is to create an accessible, attractive, low maintenance and safe community playground that will meet the needs of both children and their families.
The community playground project initially was selected as a community wellness project at the 2011 Sitka Health Summit, but stalled after some initial work was done. The project was rekindled in 2014, when the city approved a site where the current Crescent Harbor playground is located, plus one of the three neighboring tennis courts.
The renewed project for 2015 will benefit from $2,000 in project seed money from the Sitka Health Summit. The committee also has been applying for other grants to help fund construction of what hopefully will become the only Sitka playground that will be compliant with the American Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. Previously there had been some design work done for another place in Sitka, in partnership with local students, but the group hopes to revamp the design with a new group of students.
To learn more about the Sitka Community Playground project, contact Dave Nuetzel at 747-6859, Kay Turner at 623-7878 or Kealoha Harmon at 747-3500, or send an email to email@example.com. You also can go to the Sitka Community Playground website, http://sitkacommunityplay.wix.com/home, or join the Facebook group. In addition, there is a link on the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) website where people can make online donations. A Sitka Community Playground component list with prices is posted below, for people/companies/organizations that want to sponsor a particular component (note, the list is in two columns).