There was an incredible turnout at Hickory Hill Park on October 8th, 2022, with about 250 people coming together to raise $20,000. All the money will help replace the equipment and make the pavilion handicapped accessible.
Since the park was built in the 1980s, all the equipment is outdated. The backboards for the basketball hoops are broken and the slides have cracks. "The fundraiser was to help move the large pavilion to the top of the hill to make it handicapped accessible. The equipment is from the early 80s, and that [money] is to help update them as well," says Jessie Gavinski, the village clerk and a part of the committee for improvements to Hickory Hill Park.
Setting up the first park fundraiser "was a challenge," says Gavinski, with everyone having different ideas. "The biggest challenge I found was asking for donations, along with finding the right people to go out and find those donations." With Covid-19 and post-Covid, everyone has been asked for donations and to give resources to help families in need.
"I think it was a positive for the community," Gavinski said. More people came than expected with it being short notice. They only had meetings five to six weeks in advance. Gavinski says "Many community members have seen a positive come out of the fundraiser and even donated more money." “The fundraiser was a success and we will surely see more of it in the future, not only to raise money for the park but bring the community together.”
With all the money raised and a plan on what to replace, the biggest issue is to start making the changes. “We should start with the basketball hoops or something small that the people will notice,” says Sarah Steiner a member of the committee. All of the changes and what to replace will be talked about at the next meeting with the committee.