Sarah Stultz: Park fundraising off to a great start

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

As most people know by now, I’m proud to be a part of the committee raising funds for the All Together Albert Lea Inclusive Playground, which is slated to be built at Edgewater Park, across from the newer pavilion. 

An inclusive playground is one that allows everyone, regardless of ability, the opportunity to play.

Things are picking up as our committee and many others in the community are submitting grants, planning fundraisers and spreading the word about this important and exciting project in Albert Lea. 

Others in the committee and I have started presenting about our project to service clubs, and I’m excited to say our first organizations to donate have been our Kiwanis clubs here in Albert Lea. 

Kiwanis is an organization whose purpose is to improve the world one child and one community at a time, so this project is perfectly aligned with that mission. 

We’ve also had commitment from Larson Contracting to donate the initial site work for the project, and Jones Haugh & Smith donated to get all the engineering plans drawn up. We are so grateful for these two companies.

The city is putting the finishing touches on a large grant to submit to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which could provide a substantial amount of money for the project. 

I’m also excited to say that our website is now live, and I encourage you to go check it out at https://alltogetheralbertlea.com/

The site includes more information about the project, as well as detailed descriptions of the equipment, including costs if a business or organization wanted to sponsor a piece of that equipment. 

If you’d like a T-shirt to support our cause, those are now being sold directly through Budget Signs for $20 to $25, depending on size. All proceeds from the shirts will go to fund the playground. 

In the next few months, there are some fun fundraisers in the works. 

On March 19 to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, the annual Rock Your Socks Walk will take place. The 3.21-mile walk/run will leave at 9 a.m. at Brookside Boat Landing. Money raised will go to support the park. 

The Noon Kiwanis Club is also planning a family-friendly comedy night April 30 at the Eagles with all proceeds going to support the project. More information will be released about this as it gets closer to the date. 

I hope you will help rally behind this cause, whether as a volunteer, a donor or some other means. 

If you’d like to get involved or an organization or business you are a part of would like to donate to bringing this amenity to our community, please contact me or email alltogetheralbertlea@gmail.com.

I thank you, and the children of Albert Lea — and the surrounding areas — will thank you, too.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.