Grant money for a new children’s playground at Bayfront Park is becoming addicting for the Key’s philanthropic organizations.
Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key President Armando Linde presented a $6,135 check to Mayor Jack Duncan Sept. 9 at the regular commission meeting to help offset the cost of a $250,000 playground that’s part of an overall $3.11 million overhaul coming to Bayfront Park next year.
“Over the last two years, the Kiwanis Foundation has awarded grants and scholarships to youth oriented non-profit organizations in both counties on the mainland totaling $218,000,” Linde said. “I think it’s about time the foundation contributes to the youth here on the Key. We want to improve the facilities at Bayfront Park, specifically the children’s playground.”
It’s the second check the town has received for its Bayfront Park renovation project this year.
In May, the Longboat Key Garden Club gave the town a $6,135 check that will be used to plant shade trees in the future children’s playground area.
Assistant to the Town Manager Susan Phillips, who also acts as Garden Club president and as the Kiwanis Club’s scholarship chair, suggested Kiwanis consider donating the money to the park earlier this month.
“The matching Kiwanis grant was a wonderful gift toward building community amenities for our children and grandchildren’s enjoyment,” Phillips said.
The Garden Club, meanwhile, had the money waiting in its account for a renovated Bayfront Park for years.
“I think it’s about time the (Kiwanis) foundation contributes to the youth here on the Key. We want to improve the facilities at Bayfront Park, specifically the children’s playground.”
— Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key President Armando Linde
“This donation is consistent with the Garden Club’s years of support for development of this park,” Phillips said.
Add Longboat Key Rotary Club to the list of those who are working to contribute to the park, specifically for the dog park the club has advocated since its inception in October 2014.
Longboat Key Rotary Club President Carol Erker said her club will work to raise the $6,135 contribution that was put up by the Garden and Kiwanis clubs after Phillips contacted her about the idea last week.
“We’re a new group that doesn’t have that kind of money yet,” Erker said. “But as our members come back into town, we’ll be talking about if we can work to meet that challenge.”
Erker said she will reach out to more than 200 Key dog owners the Rotary Club has compiled in a database to ask for dog park donations. Another viable way of contributing, Erker said, is to solicit donations for some dog agility equipment for the dog park.