Paula Hofgren said that when she brought her granddaughter to Roseland Park to play, the young girl was less than impressed.
''(She) lives in the Allen Park area, where they have a nice playground,'' Mrs. Hofgren said. ''After about five minutes, she would say, 'Grandma, can we go to a real playground?'''
Mrs. Hofgren, who had visited Louisiana to do Hurricane Katrina cleanup with a church group and said she was inspired by the volunteer labor, decided it was time for her to do something in her own community. She began Partners For Play, a committee to raise awareness and funds for the creation of a new playground at the facility on Fluvanna Avenue between Washington and North Main streets.
A Music In The Park fundraiser will be held Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. at Roseland Park, on Fluvanna Avenue between Washington and North Main streets. Funds are being raised on behalf of Partners For Play to build a new playground in the park.
P-J photo by Dave Emke
In the continuation of those efforts, Partners For Play will host a Music In The Park fundraiser at Roseland Park on Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.
''For three years, Partners For Play has been working hard to raise money to build a playground,'' Mrs. Hofgren said. ''With pledges from local foundations and what we have raised through funds and donations, we're up to about $48,500.''
That figure is just over half of what will be necessary to build the playground as planned. While the Music In The Park event Saturday will have free admission, Mrs. Hofgren said Partners For Play would appreciate any donations that can be made to support the cause.
''In April, we did a Friendly's fundraiser, and in September we're going to do the Labor Day Festival and an Applebee's fundraiser, but this is probably our major fundraiser for right now,'' she said. ''I did it three years ago, and that's how we got started, so I thought we'd try to repeat it.''
Local artists Marla Harris, Richie Leeper and Blue Magoo will kick off the entertainment at about 12:30. Following them will be rock band 86 To Nowhere at 3:30, The Bogarts at 6, and Cindy Haight at 7. Sound for the event will be provided by Skip Lanphere.
Children's entertainment at the Music In The Park fundraiser will include a bounce house, clown Jerry Stimpson making balloon animals from 12:30 to 4:30, and a petting zoo and pony rides by Clearwater Carriages from 4 to 7.
In addition to donations, money will be raised for the playground through a 50-50 drawing and a basket auction, Mrs. Hofgren said.
The city has pledged to allocated Community Block Grant money in the fall of the year to be used at the park in the spring or summer of 2011, she said.
''We're really hoping that the park will be able to be built next summer,'' Mrs. Hofgren said.
There is limited space for parking near the park. Surrounding lots also available for parking include at Tops Friendly Markets on Washington Street, the lower lot at Catholic Academy of the Holy Family on North Main Street, and the Emmanuel Baptist Church parking lot on 23rd Street. After 5 p.m., the parking lot at the Windstream building will also be available.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring their own chair or blanket to sit on as they enjoy the show, and food and refreshments will be available. For more information about the event and Partners For Play, call Mrs. Hofgren at 488-1388 or visit www.roselandplayground.org. Donations can also be made by check to the Roseland Park Playground Project in care of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.