A 6-year-old Colona girl and her father have donated $50 to a new playground at Moline's Riverside Park.
Including the check Samantha Gersteland her father, Jeff Gerstel, gave the Moline Community Development Corporation on Monday, $2,000 has been raised for equipment, ground surfacing and installation of equipment at the park. Another $65,000 still is needed.
"We are still in need of grants or corporate sponsors," said Ald. Lori Turner, 5th Ward, a member of the Community Development Corp.
The playground at Riverside was removed in 2010 because of safety concerns. Afterward, Friends of Riverside approached Ald. Turner about the lack of playground equipment.
The Moline CDC joined with Friends of Riverside Park, and the park and recreation department, in 2011 to plan a firetruck-themed playground and launch fundraising.
"We do have a few swings, but overall, the park needs some TLC," Ald. Turner said, adding that the new playground can't be installed until the money is raised.
Mr. Gerstel, a senior account officer with Ascentra Credit Union, said Ascentra offered each employee $50 to donate to the cause of their choice.
He said he wanted to encourage his daughter to be a part of the community, so asked her opinion on where to donate the money."She wanted to donate to a park."
Mr. Gerstel said he did some research and learned about the funding needed for the Riverside playground.
He grew up in Moline and said he knows the park, and his family went to Riverside this summer. "We noticed the lack of playground equipment."
Samantha said she plays on equipment at school three times per day during recess, so has experience with playgrounds. "This was a good idea that came to me," she said.
Ald. Turner said the theme of the playground may be expanded to safety, with the play equipment encompassing all emergency issues, including police, EMS and 911.
"We look forward to seeing children playing on the new equipment," she said. "We greatly appreciate the support of Ascentra Credit Union."
Donations for the playground can be sent to Moline CDC, 1830 6th Ave., Moline, IL 61265. All donations are tax deductible and acknowledged with a receipt.
The Moline CDC is a 501(c) 3 organization organized to foster revitalization programs and projects, and improvements to Moline's low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.