On Tuesday, November 10, as part of the Temple Parks and Leisure Service Department 65th year celebration marking the creation of the Department, the Park Stars event was held at the Santa Fe Depot to recognize and honor those in the community who helped to make the department into what it is today. During the event, representatives of the Rotary Club of South Temple made a $50,000 donation to the Temple Parks Foundation to help fund the accessible playground project.
“This generous donation brings us much closer to our goal,” Parks Foundation President Allan Einboden said. “We were just blown away by this overwhelming gift. The donation will ensure that the naming rights to the playground will belong to Rotary Club of South Temple. ”
The idea of a fully accessible playground was first brought before the Parks & Leisure Services Department and Temple Parks Foundation by one of the Leadership Temple groups last year. The playground will be designed to be completely accessible to all children, including those in wheelchairs. This would be the first playground of this type, not only in Temple, but in all of Bell County. “We are extremely enthusiastic about this project,” Parks & Leisure Services Director Ken Cicora said. “We have always been committed to providing opportunities for fun and recreation for every member of our community.”
The estimated cost for constructing the playground is $150,000. Einboden says that with this most recent donation, the Parks Foundation is getting closer to making the dream a reality. “At this point, we have raised approximately $110,000” Einboden said. “We are still very much in need of additional donations in order to ensure the playground is constructed. For over a year we have been working with the Leadership Temple group on fundraising. Needless to say, in these economic times it can be very challenging. If there are businesses or residents interested in supporting this great project, they can contact the Parks and Leisure Services Department at 298-5690 and we will be glad to meet with them and provide additional information.”
The Rotary Club of South Temple’s sizable donation will grant them naming rights once the playground has been constructed. “Our Rotary Club is celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. The club members wanted to do something special for the community and when this project was brought to our attention, we unanimously voted to take it on. Temple has a great park system – and we wanted to make sure every resident and visitor to the city has the opportunity to take advantage of the parks.” Club President Dan Jones said. “We are going to work closely with the Parks Foundation and Parks and Leisure Services Department to raise the rest of the funds necessary”. “Over the 65 years of the Departments history, much has been accomplished through the contributions and good work by civic organizations like Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis. Through their efforts the Temple community has been able to enjoy great facilities like this playground. Our sincere thanks and gratitude go to the Rotary Club of Temple South for this donation.” Cicora said.
Cicora encourages anyone interested in contributing to the accessible playground to contact Temple Parks & Leisure Services at (254) 298-5690.