Financial support still needed for Anuenue Playground project
WAIMEA — Vicki Missien shared updates on Anuenue Park’s fundraising efforts on Thursday at the Waimea Community Association monthly meeting. Of the $400,000 needed, $230,000 has been raised to date, mostly from donations made by local residents.
More than $400 was raised from attendees in pass-the-basket donations that evening.
In order to begin construction this fall, the group must still raise $170,000 between now and September. Grants and large donations from businesses or other organizations would help them meet the deadline.
“We are planning and hopeful for a fall build-date, dependent on reaching the monies needed in time to order and arrange a summer shipping,” Missien said. “We have held one major fundraiser, and received donations from individuals, businesses and foundations, in addition to $15,000 in discretionary funds from the County.”
Missien, Michele Chavez-Pardini, Michele Sullivan and Mimi Kerley are the founding members of Friends of Anuenue Playground and serve on the board. Located in the center of Waimea, the playground facility is used by hundreds of children each week.
“When we get closer to the $400,000 goal, we will become eligible to apply for so-called ‘closing grants’ dedicated solely to projects able to show strong community support by reaching a high percentage of the total needed,” Missien said. “We would be honored to receive any additional funding from the County and any other donors. Funding for the project will cover design, oversight, materials and shipping. Construction will be all-volunteer as done 24 years ago.”
Friends of Anuenue Playground has also formed community partnerships with administrators at Waimea Elementary and Middle Schools, HPA and Parker School, as well as local businesses such as KTA Waimea, and the Blue Zones Project group. “Friend-raiser” tables are stationed at Waimea farmers’ markets monthly to provide information on the project.
Under the fiscal sponsorship of Friends of the Future and with County support and approval, playground repair weekends have been scheduled since 2013. These continue on a reduced scale to keep the playground safe and functioning, according to Missien.
“We are at the end stages of receiving DCAB approval (Disability & Communication Access Board) pertaining to accessibility and related matters, and work directly with Aubrey Summers, County Park’s projects manager,” she said. “We also recently received County approval to utilize engineered wood as ground cover, which significantly lowered the overall cost plus labor necessary for installation. We are keenly appreciative of this.”
Anuenue Playground first opened in 1992 as part of a community fund-raised, all-volunteer-built project.
Info or to donate: Call 885-8336 or go to www.anuenueplayground.org or www.fofhawaii.org/donate.html