Rain could have squelched the first fundraiser put on by Make a Difference in King, a Community Glow Fun Run/Walk 5-K held at Recreation Acres on Friday night, but people poured in to spite on and off drizzle throughout the night.
“I think it went well considering the crazy weather we’ve had,” said organizer Ashley Turner. “I was pleased and tickled we had this many turn out.”
The 5-K raised more than $4,000 and 182 people participated.
In Nov., Turner explained to King’s City Council how a group of local citizens hoped to spearhead a community built playground in Recreation Acres. The idea was to contract with a company which helped design and organize community-built playground structures.
King Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee unanimously supported the Make a Difference in King plan, and Mayor Jack Warren directed city staff to begin discussions with the organization to start planning what steps needed to be taken to make it a reality.
Since then, the build date has been set for April 3-9, 2017 and Turner said although there have been a few delays, things are currently on track.
“We didn’t have a goal of how much money we wanted to raise tonight because this was more about helping people become more aware of what we’re doing,” Turner said. “We’re not going to have a lot of fundraisers. We really need sponsors which can be from businesses or individuals. That’s where we’re hoping to see funds come from, that and grants.”
Deciding to take on such a large project was something Turner felt like needed to be done.
“Sometimes we just wait for someone else to do it. I just didn’t want to wait,” she said. “This was about more than my kids, it’s about all of the kids. We have so many in this area and they deserve this.”
For the project to be successful, volunteers are a must.
“We have a lot that are excited about the building week, and that’s great. We’ll need hundreds. But we also need volunteers now.”
Turner said the project will need materials, donations, sponsors, grants, playground components, personalized pickets and pavers.
Town Manager Homer Dearmin believes the playground is beneficial for children and the community.
“Many may not realize that Recreation Acres was the result of a similar grassroots community effort years ago, when King Lions Club members had a vision for a park in our community and brought it to fruition. The Make a Difference in King organization is adding to that vision and meeting a need in our community. The playground will not only be a place for our children, but for those in nearby communities. The playground will increase King’s visibility, and bring children and families to our city, where they’ll also shop, eat, and enjoy other aspects of King.”
Event Sponsors: Automotive Additions, Bad Benny Productions, Bill & Beth Southern, Bunny & The Elephant, Cannon & Company Joey Perkins, Chestnut Grove Ruritan Club, Costco, Fireblade Graphics & Signs, Insight Human Services, Inc., J. Posh Salon, King Port a Let Rentals, Lowes Foods, Nvizion, Inc. Stormie Speaks Insurance Agency,
Raffle Giveaway Items: Bunny & The Elephant, East Coast Wings, Friend 2 Friend Gift Boutique, Kings Cabin, King Kitchen, Little Italy, PB Clarks, Town & Country
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-24426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.