The City of Grand Haven this week chipped in $15,000 to provide a jumpstart to the project’s $500,000 fundraising goal.
City Manager Pat McGinnis said this is similar to what the city has done for both the Save the Catwalk and lighthouse fundraisers over the past few years, in which the city contributed $10,000 to each project.
“It is a city asset,” McGinnis said of the Imagination Station, “and if you end up contributing $15,000 and end up with a $500,000 playground, that’s good leveraging of public dollars.”
Reimagine Project organizers hope to raise enough money so that they can reconstruct the play space next fall. Fundraising will occur throughout the winter and spring.
“Our fundraising is just getting underway,” said Amy Robbins, a volunteer for the project.
Prior to the city’s pledge, project organizers earlier this week announced two new fundraising opportunities: donors can purchase pickets for a fence that will surround the 20,000-square-foot play space for $100, and they also created the Grand Haven-Opoly board game. Vouchers for the games are $39.99 each, and can be purchased online at shop.mackite.com/grand-haven-opoly. Vouchers can be exchanged at MACkite, 106 Washington Ave., when the games become available, which is expected to be in mid-January.
Robbins said the group also plans to have a few bigger kickoff events at the start of 2018.
“We have the Winterfest, which is at the end of January,” she said. “We’re going to have our first kickoff event at the Eagles club, and we’re hoping that’s going to be a phenomenal event.”
Activities for the Jan. 27, 2018, event in conjunction with Winterfest will include a fun run and an auction.
There will be plenty more activity taking place throughout the year to raise funds for the project, Robbins said.
“We have many, many parades that we’re going to be in,” she said. “And then we will be gearing up for collecting a lot of volunteers — about 1,500 volunteers over the summer.”
These volunteers will all have a hand in constructing the new play space in October.
“Our planning is that it will be around the beginning of October — maybe the second week of October — that we’ll be building the Imagination Station,” Robbins said. “We really look forward to a great year of community service.”
In late September, local students developed and pitched inclusive play-space ideas to designers from Leathers & Associates. In early October, the designers turned those ideas into a final design that will feature items such as a Coast Guard boat, bridge resembling the south pier catwalk, a rope climbing wall, monkey bars, slide, shaky bridge, and swings.