August 4th, 2014 was a great day for the City of East Lansing and the East Lansing Rotary Club, a great day to celebrate a new park. Over 4 ½ years of work culminated in a community celebration of the completion of the Playground In the Park Re-Imagined. Not even an epic thunderstorm could dampen the day – shorten the ceremony, yes, but dampen the spirits of those attending – not a chance!
It was a sweet celebration in many ways. To see East Lansing Rotarian and now East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett deftly manage the rapidly compressed recognition ceremony; to welcome all of the major sponsors and donors for special recognition; to witness Project Chairperson, John Saltzgaber, receive a standing ovation; to enjoy special commemorative cookies and ice cream; and best of all to see the children in absolute joy over the long-awaited brand new play space. It was sweet indeed.
Stepping foot for the first time on the special poured in place safety surface brings the benefit of this surface to life as the surface gives way underfoot and springs back. Knowing that this equipment is safe, eco-friendly, long –lasting, and handicap accessible says the community got it right when they asked for all of these qualities during the planning sessions.
The Past and Future Meet
This project is truly a capstone event for the East Lansing Rotary Club, and perfectly aligns with the 1995 Playground Project which first fired the imagination of the community – also spearheaded by the East Lansing Rotary Club. It is fitting that when the permanent signage arrives in a few months, there will be a special sign commemorating all of the 1995 Park Donors. To learn how you can still be part of the new park celebration contact email@example.com
Sunday June 8th the forecast calls for morning showers and warm temperatures. “A little rain never stopped us,” quipped the Pancakes in the Park Chairperson, Josh Clayton. “We plan on making and serving pancakes like we always do, so come on out and see us on Sunday morning.”
The annual community service fundraiser, a signature event for the East Lansing Rotary Club, is scheduled for Sunday June 8th from 7:00am to 12:30pm in the covered picnic pavilion at Patriarche Park, Alton Street and Haslett Road in East Lansing. The menu includes coffee, juice, pancakes, sausage and grilled apples. Tickets are $5.00 each and kids 5 and under EAT FREE.
This Sunday visitors to Pancakes in the Park will also get a good look at the site preparation for the Playground in the Park, Re-Imagined. The Community Build for the playground is set to begin on June 16th and continue through the 19th (rain make-up day on the 20th). Volunteers are still needed to help with the build and Community Support opportunities include engraved brick pavers (4×8 or 8×8) perfect for families or businesses. Look for more details at the Park on Sunday, or go to: www.cityofeastlansing.com/playgroundinthepark
So, on your way to church or the park, toss your rain gear and umbrellas in the car and get ready for a fun day in the park!
Fellow Rotarians here are the Big Bang-Quet results. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the University Club’s Big Bang-quet Charity Challenge! Twenty-four organization’s were a part of this year’s “challenge” and our Playground in the Park Re-Imagined project finished in 6th place with 840 votes or $4,200! Many thanks to all who voted online, recruited friends and family to vote, and/or attended and voted at last night’s Grand Reveal party. Thanks also to the Community Foundation and MSUFCU for their sponsorship of this event. And, a special thanks to our own Phyllis Riley for her advocacy on behalf of including the playground project among the charities/causes in this year’s event.
The Community Foundation will be sending us a check for $3,570 – which is our share (85%) of the votes cast – and moves us one step closer to fully funding the playground project.
You can go to http://www.universityclubofmsu.org/theclubwithaheart and click on the full details link to see all of the Big Bang-quet Charity Challenge rankings.
Thanks once again everyone for your support!
The Playground in the Park Re-Imagined Committee
By East Lansing Rotarian Lori Bosch
I am very honored to be the Managing Director of Ele’s Place in Lansing. Recently I was able to share my passion for Ele’s Place with my fellow Rotarians as East Lansing Rotary visted Ele’s Place. Ele’s Place is especially important to me, because when I was a teenager, my older brother died and I understand firsthand the pain and isolation that grieving children and teens experience. I encourage anyone who would like to learn more about Ele’s Place to take a tour. Tour dates are listed at www.elesplace.org, or you can call 517-482-1315.
For those of you who don’t know about our mission,Ele’s Place is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating awareness of and support for grieving children and their families. Our primary goal is to provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where children can share their feelings and memories with their peers, and begin to heal following the death of a parent, sibling, other close family member or important friend.
Ele’s Place recognizes that children’s grief is unique and that allowing children to share their feelings promotes healing. Grieving children often feel isolated by a death; at Ele’s Place, they can connect with their peers who have suffered similar loss, and together begin to heal. Through our peer support group program, these children are given the opportunity to grieve in a healthy manner and begin their healing process.
Most children today will experience the death of a parent, sibling, grandparent, other family member or close friend before they complete high school. When a child experiences the death of someone special, the impact is emotionally devastating and has a profound effect on his or her life. Ele’s Place provides the support children and teens need to find hope and healing, so they can have bright futures.
On February 26th Sponsors, Community Members and Rotarians gathered at the Hannah Community Center for a Park Project Briefing for Playground in the Park Re-Imagined. East Lansing Mayor, Nathan Triplett, Parks and Recreation Director Tim McCaffery, Project Chairperson John Saltzgaber, and Honorary Chairperson were on hand to give the attendees an update and forecast for the community build date in June of 2014.
Honorary Chairperson, Suzy Merchant delighted the crowd with her personal feelings about Patriarche Park, the project, and the power of play.
Project Chairperson, John Saltzgaber outlined the remaining opportunities for sponsors, community support through the purchase of brick pavers and participation in the Community Charity Challenge called the Big Bangquet.
You may also view the video on YouTube.