Here is an update on the Victory for Kids Playground project.
1) If you have made a donation to the playground, you should have received a lengthy letter (attached here) last week. It has gone out to past donors thanking them for their contributions and reassuring them that their money has been well spent.
1) A color brochure is at the printers (Michelle arranged for Standard Printing to donate the cost of printing) and will be ready for distribution to places around town in the next few weeks.
2) Information and pictures have been sent to Maggie LaNoue, who will author a playground Web page that will be appearing soon. You are here! Link to photo tour.
3) We met with Butch Dyer, director of the Albion College Gerstacker Institute, which helps train future business people who are students at the college. He was pleased to hear about the playground and urged us to present it as a contribution to an ongoing effort to maintain and improve the infrastructure of the city of Albion. He sees this as one part of the several-part strategy for revitalizing Albion and marketing it to prospective residents and businesses. He arranged for more than a dozen Gerstacker students to meet with us to see what they could do to help the project. Thirteen students showed up and will assist us in fundraising (by making inquiries about grants) and public relations (by making visits to schools and service organizations with our public relations committee).
4) The fund-raising committee (Dave, Peg and Karen) has reported to us that notes have been sent out to people in town who might be able to contribute more than a $100. They will follow up with a personal visit to each person. They are also doing follow-up visits to every manufacturer to whom they sent a letter requesting a donation. Further, they are generating of list of wealthy individuals in town, and will be doing visits and sending letters to them. They will also be sending letters to other businesses and professionals in town.
5) The fund-raisers' efforts have resulted in donations of materials when a cash donation was not possible. Redi-Mix has agreed to donate all the cement for the project as well as ground cover. Haas has agreed to house our materials as they come in and to truck any materials we buy in Michigan without charge.
6) Shelly (our donated materials coordinator) has contacted Lowe's, Meijer, and other large companies in the Jackson/Battle Creek area to seek help. She also priced out all the final materials for the playground.
7) Our fund-raisers have set April 15th as the first deadline to take stock of how much money/goods we will still need at that point.
8) Beth, Lisa and Anne (our public relations coordinators) are setting up a schedule of appearances at schools, churches and service organizations around town that they will make during the next three months. Public relations strategies also include monthly newspaper and Albion e-news articles.
9) Rod (our children's committee coordinator) is planning to talk with Albion youth groups involved with parks and recreation projects and will distribute information to them. For instance, he organizes T-Ball and other activities at Victory Park during the summer.
10) We've written an article that should appear in next week's Albion Recorder announcing that the project is in full swing again and that Caster Concepts has donated $10,000 to the playground.
Please share any of this information or other information we have sent you with anyone you know who may want to help with the project. It is important that we all work together to involve as many people as we can in this project--all those people, whatever contribution they make--will feel good about the playground, about Albion and themselves. Along these lines here is an urgent request: WE ASK THAT EVERY PERSON WHO RECEIVES THIS LETTER WRITE AN E-MAIL TO KAREN DOBBINS AT LINER8@YAHOO.COM WITH A LIST OF ALL PERSONS YOU CAN THINK OF WHO MIGHT BE WILLING TO MAKE A SIZEABLE CASH CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROJECT OR WHO REALLY OUGHT TO MAKE SUCH A CONTRIBUTION BECAUSE THEY HAVE SO MUCH MONEY! PLEASE SEND THESE LISTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, WITH NAMES AND ANY CONTACT INFORMATION YOU HAVE, INCLUDING WHETHER YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO TALK TO THESE PEOPLE YOURSELF. Our fundraisers will follow up these leads.
If you are in charge of an aspect of the project that pertains to the build, please begin to plan and act on your plan to organize your work on--just for instance, food for the build (we need to feed hundreds of workers a day!) or tools for the build (there's quite a list of tools that need to be loaned).
We are still looking for people to help with fund raising, public relations and volunteer coordination for the build. If you have suggestions about who might be willing to work on these things, please send them to us.