WEST LIBERTY – Water-loving kids will have a new toy at Lions Park in West Liberty next summer. Fundraising started in February and construction of a Spray N Play Splash Pad behind the old water plant at the park is scheduled to start Nov. 13, weather permitting.
If all goes well, by next Memorial Day kids will be getting drenched under spray nozzles, an umbrella and a dump bucket on a 1,400-square-foot splash pad adorned with a bird, a frog and a crab, all friendly and not real.
For now, plans are for a brushed concrete surface. If another $20,000 is raised, an improved surface will be installed initially or at a later date. The additional funds also will go toward installing the water lines and electricity.
The project’s next fundraiser is Saturday when Logan and Champaign county eateries, musicians and businesses will show their talents at “A Taste of Our County” in Green Hills Community’s Foundation Hall, located on U.S. Route 68, north of West Liberty.
All are welcome to the 5-7 p.m. event. Tickets will be sold at the door, $10 for eight tickets. Each ticket is good for a sample offered by a maker of goodies, including Coffee Depot, Sparky’s Pizza and Mumford’s Chips of Urbana, Marie’s Candies, Tiger Hut, Sweetie Pies, Margy Meals and Liberty Gathering Place of West Liberty, and Brewfontaine, Iron City, City Sweets Creamery and Rise Bakerhouse of Bellefontaine.
The West Liberty-Salem Show Choir, the Green Hills Kitchen Band and vocalist Jeff Newland of Indian Lake will entertain.
There will be drawings and raffles for gifts offered by several area businesses.
A community affair
“It’s going to be fun,” said Cindee Boyd said of Saturday’s fundraiser. Boyd, Sherry Barker, Nicki Kimball and Jayne Griffith lead the Spray N Play Splash Pad Committee, which has held several and varied fundraisers, garnered grants and accepted donations since February.
Boyd said the Peoples Savings and Loan Company of West Liberty and ColePak Inc. of Urbana recently made a joint donation of $30,000. She expressed gratitude to those two businesses as well as to all who have helped raise $58,000 so far.
“I’ve thought about (a splash pad) for the last couple years,” Boyd said, adding that West Liberty Village Council members visited Springfield’s splash pad and agreed it would be a good idea.
Boyd posted a Facebook notice about the possibility in February. She said United Way of Logan County kicked off fundraising by granting $5,000. About that time, 4-inch by 8-inch bricks started to be sold and will continue to be available through Saturday’s fundraiser. The cost is $60 a brick, or $50 a brick if a person buys more than one. Names, sayings, etc. can be engraved on each brick.
“Oh, my goodness, yes,” Boyd said when asked whether the community has gotten behind the project. “The community has just come together. We’ve had a (fundraiser) about every weekend. We’ve had a great summer.”
Another fundraiser is planned for Nov. 14 at the Dragonfly Winery, 710 W. Herr Road, in northern Champaign County. At 6 p.m., the artistic and not so artistic are invited to a sip-and-paint event at which they will paint snowmen. Boyd said the event is limited to 25 people. Those interested can register by calling her at the West Liberty Village building, 937-465-2716.
The Spray N Play Splash Pad Committee has an account at The Peoples Savings and Loan Company for those who wish to donate to the project.
Kathy Fox can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1773.