From clearing brush for a disc golf course to fundraising for new park equipment – Luther’s Friends of the Park volunteers are among the hardest-working and passionate volunteers in town. Limb by limb and dollar by dollar, the nonprofit volunteer organization toils to make improvements to Wildhorse Park.
Friends of the Park is a nonprofit organization founded to fund projects of the separate Luther Parks Commission. Friends Chair Denielle Chaney answered a few quick questions for a community update on the exciting progress, and ways we can help. Thanks, Denielle!
LRN: Friends of the Park fundraising! You are so close. You completed the first matching challenge of $5,000 which resulted in a total $10,000 donation. And then your generous (and mysterious!) donor did it again, for another potential $10,000 for park equipment to complete before Thanksgiving. Tell us about this latest push for donations, and the anonymous matching donor!
DC: Our donor wants to remain anonymous for the time being. Our donor is committed to the Luther community and is such an encouragement to Friends of the Park. The donor wanted his funds to be matched rather than give a straight donation as a way to encourage our community to band together to raise this money. He wants to see that our community is committed to making Luther better! We believe our $22 in 2022 campaign is something almost everyone can donate to. While our suggested donation is $22 but we will take anything from $1 to $1 million. Keep in mind that all donations by individuals up to $5,000 by Thanksgiving WILL BE MATCHED!!! How can you donate? Cash, Check, Venmo, Facebook, Paypal… Keep in mind Cash/Check/Facebook will have no fees to us so 100% of your donation goes to Luther Friends of the Park! Visit our website at lutherfriendsofthepark.com
LRN: Seems you are SO close to placing some equipment. Can you explain what’s coming … what it will look like? And how much it costs?
DC: WE ARE SO CLOSE!!!! We will be ordering the equipment in NOVEMBER!!! We have to put down 1/2 the money in November, so we NEED MORE THAN EVER FOR THOSE DONATIONS TO COME IN. What will it look likes, depends on what we raise the next couple weeks. LET ME SAY IT AGAIN…. WE NEED DONATIONS TO COME IN NOW MORE THAN EVER. If you want to see what the proposed equipment will look like come to the Parks Commission Meeting on November 3rd as Friends will be presenting its proposed equipment purchase for approval. Once the Parks Commission approves our equipment recommendation we will present it at the Town Board Meeting. (Why do we need approval? Because we are putting it on Town property). This initial playground equipment we will be ordering will be around $100k! So, it’s going to be a NICE playground!
Luther’s Friends of the Park also has been working on the southeast edge of Wildhorse Park on a new Disc Golf Course.
LRN: Give us the DISC GOLF update.
DC: We had a work day on October 23rd. We had our standard crew Mayor Arps and Clint Chaney, and we were joined by Denny Mills (Friends of the Park’s Crystal Mills’ husband) and about six young men whom we were so grateful to have help! We got a lot done!!! Stop by the park and see the HUGE pile of limbs we moved out of the course. We will have another work day on 11/5 from 1pm-6pm and we would love any help we can get. We hope that this last work day will be enough to get the actual installation process started! We can guarantee that the more volunteers we have come out the closer we will be to installation.
LRN: How difficult/complicated, etc., has the process been to implement this new park feature for a Disc Golf Course?
DC: This has been an extremely difficult project! The wooded area of Wildhorse park has been littered with trash (concrete, trash, diapers, metal, wire, whatnot) and it took us a lot of time to get it piled up and cleaned up. We appreciate the town staff for their help with that as well. Clearing the trees and cleaning up the park has been much more time-consuming and much more costly than the estimates.
LRN: What can you say about the volunteers who have stuck it out?
DC: Our volunteers that stuck out the project have been amazing. Tyler and Carly Snedeker have stepped up to organize this project when the original organizer stepped away. They have given countless hours at the park. Carly has kept it all together – even when I have driven her crazy about timelines and deadlines. They are truly a blessing and one of the main reasons Luther will have a Disc Golf Park. Mayor Arps is ALWAYS at each work day. He literally has given blood, sweat, and tears to this project. He brings his own tractor, saws, and tools and is willing to help with anything we need. My husband, Clint Chaney, has spent more hours than I can count at the park by himself mowing, brush hogging, and moving logs, plus he shows up to the work days. His tractor has gained many battle wounds from the park and so he has decided to name the tractor “Wildhorse Park.” AND where would we be without our DONORS – WOW… we are blown away by the grace and patience our donors have shown Friends of the Park as we get this course open to our community.