A $1,000 contribution to the Lillian Dickson Park playground project has been announced by Walter Gaczewski, Exalted Ruler of Jamestown Lodge 263 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
A fundraising goal of $37,500 has been set by the volunteers and neighbors of the park to purchase preschool handicapped accessible playground equipment and install it by September. The Elks contribution brings the total amount of money raised to date to $2,813.
"The Elks are delighted to contribute towards this worthy project. Most of our charitable works are dedicated toward projects to help children and the physically and mentally challenged. This project helps us meet our charitable works goal within our community," said Walter Gaczewski.
Key stakeholders stand at the newly installed sign at the Lillian Dickson Park. From left are: Andy Dickson, Creating Healthy Places built environment consultant; Mayor Sam Teresi; Walter Gaczewski, exalted ruler of Jamestown Elks Lodge; Dave Reinhardt, chairman of the Lillian Dickson Park committee; John Williams, Parks director of the city of Jamestown; and Vince DeJoy, director of Development for the city of Jamestown.
Impetus for the park improvements came from Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work, and Play, a project funded by the New York State Department of Health and administered by the Chautauqua County Health Network. CHP has been supporting the neighborhood effort neighborhood organization, facilitating meetings and funding some improvements including a climbing wall, fall zone materials, benches, trash cans a climbing wall and park signage.
"This contribution will move us closer to our goal and give us considerable fundraising momentum," said David Reinhart, LDP chairman and neighbor. "We are currently applying for support to local foundations, businesses, civic organizations and the city of Jamestown to reach our goal. The Elks contribution will demonstrate to these funding sources that we are committed to making this project succeed."
Located on Falconer Street between Sturges and Bowen, the park is the former site of School 10 and is named in honor of the school's first principal, Lillian Dickson, who served from 1893 until 1933.
The LDP volunteers and neighbors made significant strides last year to stabilize the park and increase its use. A Neighborhood Watch group was formed, and evening activities for kids were organized. Additional improvements are scheduled as part of Hands On Jamestown on May 18, including the installation of benches and the climbing wall. Neighborhood bottle and can collections will be held on May 25, as well as throughout the summer.
The next meeting of the Lillian Dickson Park volunteers will be Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Lillian Dickson Park pavilion. Neighbors and friends interested in improving the park much needed and encouraged to attend.
Tax-deductible contributions to the LDP project can be made to the Lillian Dickson Park Non-Endowed Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown NY 14701 or online at www.crcfonline.org.
For more information about the Lillian Dickson Park Project, contact David Reinhart at 450-2688.