September 1, 2020
$129,560 raised for new playground at Starr Park
For Immediate Release
September 1, 2020
RICHMOND, IN. – The Richmond Parks and Recreation Department is thrilled to announce that their Patronicity crowdfunding campaign to fund the much needed renovations at Starr Park has come to a successful end. In order to receive $50,000 in matching funds from Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) through their CreatINg Places program, the Parks Department had to raise at least $50,000. Not only were they able to meet this requirement, they raised $79,560 thanks to the generosity of the Richmond community. With the match from IHCDA, they were able to raise a total of $129,560, which will all go to Starr Park’s renovations.
The Parks Department would like to thank the following donors which made donations of $5,000 or greater: First Bank Richmond Community Foundation, Wayne County Foundation, Stamm-Koechlein Family Foundation, Reid Health Community Benefit, Phillips Tube Group, and the United Way of the Whitewater Valley. Parks Superintendent Denise Retz stated, “We are grateful for all of our donors at every level. This campaign was a true community effort. We can’t wait to see Starr Park shine, and it’s because of our donors that this dream will come to light!”
Retz went on to explain, “This is more than just a playground, this is about making every place a safe place to play in the City of Richmond because we care about our children and families. We had donations from as far as California and Arizona. I was moved by one email that we received accompanied by a $3,000 donation:
“My name is Johanna Holte and I am the President of the Macie Grace Foundation, located in Fremont Ca. The Macie Grace Foundation is driven by a single goal; to Make Every Day A Safe Day at playgrounds. We are committed to increasing awareness of playground safety, necessary to create and maintain a happy, fun and safe outdoor environment in an effort to prevent injury or death. We started this because our namesake, Macie Grace died at the young age of 3 because of playground equipment that wasn't installed up to the safety guidelines.
We came across your fundraiser for Starr Park last week and were moved to help as much as we could, even though we are a new, small npo. We are happy to let you know that Starr Park was picked as the first recipient of Macie's Matching Fundraiser. We asked our supporters to donate what they could and the foundation would match up to $1,500. We were so happy that they came through in just a week and were able to give the maximum of $3,000 to help rebuild your playground.
We can't wait to see the progress that is made at Starr Park and we hope this helps make Every Day a Safe Day in Richmond.”
-Johanna Holte, President, Macie Grace Foundation
Retz continued to comment, “To learn that Richmond, Indiana’s Starr Park Project had made such an impact in Fremont California was amazing. It shows first hand why playground safety should be at the top of our priority list in each and every Park System.”
As a community driven project, citizens were able to help pick between two add on options via an online poll during the campaign. To continue the effort and ensure that this playground fits the needs and desires of the community, all are invited to weigh in on three proposed color options for this new playground. To do this, community members can visit the Richmond Parks Department’s Facebook Page and leave a comment on the voting post, or to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their thoughts. The three color options can be seen below:
Voting will end Thursday, September 3 at 9pm.
Starting Sept 14, 2020, Starr Park will be closed for demolition and excavation. The Richmond Parks Department plans for the park to reopen by mid November with a brand new playground at Starr Park for all to enjoy.
Once the playground installation at Starr Park is complete, the Richmond Park System will officially be fully compliant through the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Playground Safety Standards. This is a momentous accomplishment for Richmond — very few cities can boast this achievement. Not only does the Parks and Recreation Department encourage community members to take pride in this achievement, they’ve allowed the community to make the final decision on various aspects of the playground equipment via social media voting. This truly has been a community project through and through — and a successful one at that.
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The mission of the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department is to provide for the positive development and well-being of the Richmond community through the provision of parks, greenways, trails and recreational programming and facilities while working in cooperation with other service providers and partners in the community to maximize all available resources.
For questions, imagery, or for media requests, please reach out via the contact details below:
Denise Retz, CPRP
Richmond Parks and Recreation
50 North 5th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374
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