“This is a great blessing,” Jennifer Kidder, Archbold Parks & Recreation Department director, said after receiving donations from the Archbold Area Foundation and Archbold Rotary.
The donations go to fund the Parks & Recreation scholarship program, which provides a stipend to reduce the cost of park department programs.
The program is in its third year.
Kidder said for a low-income family, the costs for park programs can add up quickly. The price of a family summer swimming pool pass is $70.
The program follows Archbold Area School District guidelines for free and reduced priced school lunches. If a family receives a free lunch, the cost of a park program is reduced by 75%.
Those who receive a reduced priced lunch are eligible for 50% off the price of a park program.
Kidder said the scholarship program is entirely supported by donations. Revenue from the Archbold Park Board one-quarter of one percent (.25%) share of the village income tax cannot be used to fund the scholarship program.
The Foundation donated $2,500 to support the scholarship program. Rotary chipped in $250, for a total of $2,750.
It takes between $3,000 and $4,000 per year to fund the scholarship program, so $2,750 goes a long way.
At the beginning of the year, Kidder said the scholarship fund had dropped to $439.
If the donations had not been received, “there wouldn’t have been enough for the pool season. We would have had to go to first come, first served, or change the guidelines,” she said.
Donations are still needed. In the past, one private citizen donated $500 to the fund, but even donations for $5, $10, or $15 help.
“People may think $5, $10, or $15 is no big deal, but $15 covers a kid playing soccer or flag football,” she said.