Castle Park project receives $200,000 in donations

Nicole Babb,

With the goal of rebuilding Play Park Pointe by May 2024, the team of volunteers put a lot of effort into writing grants and designing the new community staple soon. Their perseverance is already paying off as they have raised $215,000 in pledges and contributions since August. This leaves them with only $85,000 to fundraise before they reach their goal of $300,000.

“It’s unbelievable for the amount of money we’ve received,” said Christy Williams, a member of Play Park Pointe’s mentoring team. “It’s been such a blessing to see the support coming out.”

In total, the park cost $600,000 to build. The city of Augusta has already agreed to match 50% of that total if the team can raise the other half. So far, the team has received three local grants from BNSF Railroad ($50,000), Kansas Gas Service ($15,000), and Walmart ($30,000), while they wait to hear news about other grants. Other contributors include ICI Insurance ($10,000), IdeaTek ($5,000), AT&T ($10,000) plus more.

The park is planned to be 11,000 square feet and 50 years old. A picket fence made from recycled milk jugs will surround the garden for safety. While the final designs have not yet been approved, the team is still deciding on what type of land they will choose. They think between wood fiber chips or a smooth molding surface. It will depend on the final cost, says Christy Williams, a member of the Play Park Pointe steering group. The design will be modeled after a real castle with a throne room and other areas mimicking the look of a castle.

In terms of fundraising and community donations, the team plans to make the same custom tiles as the first park did. Each tile will be available for purchase for $50 each and will feature your child’s handprint and name in the color of your choice. They will also sell pickets on the fence that are available for customization by family, business, or personality. Each picket will be available for purchase for $100 each.

Other fundraising events include a Holiday Home Tour event on Dec. 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 each, all of which go toward the project. Guests will tour beautifully decorated Christmas homes throughout the city. Tickets will go on sale soon. For Augusta High School’s first home basketball game, there will be a community fundraising kickoff event. During the game, attendees can purchase tiles and pegs, donate contributions, and sign up for the volunteer team.

“We are extremely grateful to those who supported this effort,” Williams said. “We have at least 25 members on the steering team who are helping with this project, and we are excited to bring this to the community, share the design, continue fundraising, and exceed our goal so we can have the best park possible.”

The park is planned to be built in six short days from May 28 to June 2, 2024. It will need as many volunteers as last time, which totaled 3,000 people. Both skilled and unskilled labor are welcome – if you can clean, hammer a nail, paint, lead a team, do carpentry or more, we encourage you to sign up.

Christy Williams poses with Jim Jameson, president of Kansas AT&T, after donating $10,000 and being the first to sign the Castle Park Shield. Image courtesy.

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