Project Overview
The Rotary Club of East Lansing, in conjunction with the City of East Lansing, is in the process of finalizing the design for the new playground at East Lansing’s Patriarche Park.  Input from the community meetings held earlier this spring is being incorporated into an updated design that will: 1) make the playground more accessible to everyone, including children with physical disabilities; 2) utilize equipment that helps build physical fitness, 3) comply with the latest safety standards and 4) be built with eco-friendly materials.
Sunday, June 10 is the date for this year’s annual Pancakes-in-the-Park breakfast (pancakes, sausage, apples, O.J. and coffee) which will be served from 7 am to 12:30 pm at the pavilion in East Lansing’s Patriarche Park, nearby the playground.  Funds generated by the pancake breakfast are used to support the Rotary Club’s community service projects.  MSU Women’s Basketball Coach Suzy Merchant and honorary chair for the playground project will be flipping pancakes at this year’s event as the Rotary Club’s “Guest Chef.”  Playground sponsors – Meijer, MSUFCU, and Summit Community Bank – have also been invited to participate in this year’s event.
Playground Support Growing
$10,000 from the MSUFCU and $2,100 from the Community Relations Coalition (Taste of East Lansing) are the latest donations in support of the new playground at Patriarche Park.  Meijer and Summit Community Bank have also committed to being sponsors for the playground project and grant requests are currently pending with both the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund ($300,000) and the Capital Region Community Foundation ($20,000).  East Lansing Rotary Club members have donated or helped secure over $50,000 – including a $10,000 pledge from East Lansing Lodge 480 of the Freemasons – to support the playground project.
In addition, talks are underway with television celebrity and Traverse City native Carter Oosterhouse about supporting the playground project.  He’s the host of HDTV’s Carter Can home improvement show and founder of Carter’s Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and promoting awareness of fitness and self-esteem for America’s youth.