Playground Ribbon-Cutting

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Saturday morning, December 15, 2012, will be remembered as a very happy day in it marks the day that Brisbane finally got its new playground!  A project that has been in the works for the past 5 years, and picking up remarkable steam in 2012 thanks to the involvement of the Mothers of Brisbane with staff, along with the Playground Design Subcommittee of Commissioners Marmion and Bologoff, and of course, the Brisbane City Council who ultimately approved the project at their meeting of May 7, 2012.

For a playground which consisted of two phases - the expansion of the existing playbox and the build-out of a portion of the grassy area for the new, 3-bay swing set, funding was a major component for the project advancing forward.  The total project cost ended up being approximately $229,000.  Sixty-nine percent, or $158,000 of that was covered by Seton Medical Center Foundation, thanks to The Kennedy Trust, a fund which Frank and Mae Walch assumed custody over when Frank was on the Seton Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors.  Frank and Mae Walch were former Brisbane residents, and therefore ensured that what came to be known as the Brisbane Community Fund restricted account was only used on items that promoted health-related programs for the citizens of Brisbane.  A proposal to use the remaining funds on a new community playground was approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors.

The next largest funding "bucket" is due to the efforts of Mothers of Brisbane 2012 Fundraising Chair Jennifer Bousquet and Founding Member, Jessica Aloft. Together they made presentations to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, wrote letters to Brisbane businesses, and tirelessly reached out to community members about buying a gold donor star.  In total, $33,400 was raised as a result of their efforts!

Next, the State Recycling Grant monies that the City had remaining, $23,156.56, was allocated for the playground.  This was done after verifying with the manufacturer that the plastic parts of the playground were made from recycled plastic, qualifying the usage of these funds.

The City also allocated it's Dedicated Park In-Lieu Fees account, totaling $25,899.63, to the playground.  Only $14,443.44 needed to be used from that account to cover the total cost of the playground project.  Therefore, approximately $11,000 is remaining for application towards the next project that takes place in town.  And we can't wait to get started!  But in the meantime, enjoy the photos from last Saturday's Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony; the smiles on those little faces indicate that this playground was one that was worth waiting for!

Administrative Management Analyst Caroline Cheung, who worked on the project in close conjunction with City Engineer Randy Breault and Administrative Services Director Stuart Schillinger, welcomed everyone that came out for the event.

Mayor Cliff Lentz gave the official Thank You's to so all the hands that enabled the playground to become a reality - from the Brisbane Lions Club, local contractor Mike Glynn and Kessel Crockett, the Mothers of Brisbane, Ken Bousquet, former Parks and Recreation Director Jim Skeels, the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, Seton Medical Center Foundation, and the Public Works Dept.

Tina Ahn, Vice President of Development for Seton Medical Center Foundation, and Sister William Eileen Dunn (Seton Medical Center Foundation is a member of the Daughters of Charity Health System) listen to the Mayor's remarks along with Police Chief Lisa Macias, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Cris Hart (second row), and Brisbane Lions Club Past President Ernie Filippo.

Next, it was a surprise Volunteer of the Year ceremony!  Jessica Aloft, longtime volunteer in the Community, was awarded as the 2012 Volunteer of the Year for her creation of the "Tiny Tots" play gym program, "Music with Andrew" program for young children, seeing a need for a support system for new moms in town which led to the founding of the Mothers of Brisbane, and of course, helping guide the playground project along through all the various steps of the public process.  Congratulations, Jessica! 

Next up, it was time to play and break in Brisbane's newest playground!

Lastly, a group shot of Mayor Lentz with the Mothers of Brisbane, all of whom couldn't have been more pleased on that day.