The goal of building a splash pad in Ruihley Park is a little bit closer to being accomplished.
Jennifer Kidder, Archbold Parks & Recreation director, said a total of about $130,000 has been raised– about $6,000 more than the amount she reported on March 8.
With a private donor’s promise to match each contribution over $100,000, that means the $130,000 figure is actually $160,000.
The donor will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, opening the door for up to $300,000 in total donations.
“I am so grateful,” Kidder said. “I am blown away by the generosity of this community. It’s kind of exciting to see.”
Kidder has applied for a U.S. Department of the Interior Land and Water Conservation Fund grant that would cover half of the anticipated price tag of $430,000.
If the grant is awarded to the village, Archbold would be required to come up with a local match of about $215,000.
The monies being raised will fund the local match.
If Archbold has the cash on hand to make the local match, it will give the village a better chance of receiving the grant.
Kidder said she spoke with a representative of the Department of the Interior.
“He was shocked when we got to $100,000 before the offer of the (anonymous donor) match,” she said.
Kidder said more fundraising efforts are planned.
The Archbold McDonald’s restaurant pledged to donate 20% of its sales on Friday, April 19, to the project.
The Archbold Fire Department agreed to conduct a car wash, with proceeds going to the splash pad.
Kidder said she is working with school officials to hold a “penny challenge,” in which students donate pennies. The class that donates the most pennies wins a pool party, Kidder said.
If Archbold can raise the necessary money to match the grant, and if the grant is awarded to Archbold, when can the splash pad be ready?
Kidder said based on summer going into the month of September, it could be ready before the end of summer.
Archbold could receive the grant money by the middle of April. Once the splash pad equipment is ordered, it will be six weeks before it’s ready.
Add three more weeks for installation, she said.
That means the splash pad could be ready in June.
Egg A Yard
Kidder said Parks & Recreation is offering another fundraiser for Sunday, April 4.
Called “Egg A Yard,” it’s a carryover from last year when it was offered as an alternative to the annual Easter Egg Hunt. The Egg Hunt was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
For a fee, a family can have 25 candy-filled plastic eggs spread about their yard– or anyone’s yard.
Last year, the event was put together in about two weeks time, and proved to be very popular. So popular, in fact, Kidder and the Parks & Recreation crew were out until 3:30 am, Easter morning, delivering eggs.
The program may not have been an absolute need, she said, but it provided youngsters “with a little bit of light” when they woke up Easter morning.
For this year, Kidder said Parks & Recreation is partnering with the high school softball team to deliver the eggs. Proceeds will be split with the team, Kidder said.