Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Niwot Children's Park Close to Reaching Fundraising Goal


February 10, 2016

Photo by Aurelia PollardCrew members work on assembling playground equipment at the Children's Park.

If you’ve been near Whistle Stop Park lately, then you’ve seen all the progress being made at the future Niwot Children’s Park across the street. Playground equipment is going up and community members are anxiously awaiting the park’s opening. Progress has also been made on the fundraising side of things, but donations are still needed to reach the park’s goal of $500,000.

Niwot residents Jeff and Cynthia Lambert, through the family’s Reiman Foundation, provided the first $250,000 to spark their vision of a public park dedicated to children. Community fundraising efforts started in earnest with the Children’s Park Jamboree in September, in which the goal was to raise $25,000 in five hours. When the dust settled, over $27,000 had been collected at day’s end. Additional donations have pushed the total collected to almost $400,000, including the Lambert donation.

Riki Frea, who is heading the community fundraising efforts for the Niwot Cultural Arts Association, said they have raised about 75 percent of their overall goal, and the $20K in 20 Days was started to get the last 25 percent.

“That is a matching grant opportunity that has been provided to us by Niwot residents Kevin and Kim Wall,” Frea explained. “They had previously made a donation specifically toward the purchase of some of the equipment that’s now there at the park, and they wanted to help increase our fundraising efforts by offering us this additional $20,000 to use as a grant opportunity… It’s extremely generous of them to be doing.”

Frea wants the community to know there’s still time to donate, and is rallying for people not to delay; the sooner the better. “I want this to maximize this opportunity and [encourage people] to donate now and not wait,” she said.

Frea hopes the Wall family’s generous offer will help them get the final 25 percent of the fundraising needed to complete the park sooner. “This is really only one aspect of our overall fundraising. In order to complete every phase of the park as it has been designed, we still need to reach the $500,000 mark,” Frea said about the new fundraising campaign.

Businesses are also welcome to host a fundraiser of their own for the park, but Frea said it’s really up to them to plan and execute the event.

“There have been a couple of businesses that have indicated a desire to host an event or do something, but it’s really up to individual businesses to do that,” Frea explained. “Because this is a volunteer position for me, I can’t actually plan the event for different local businesses. So I rely on them to let me know what they’re going to do and I’ll help spread the word.”

Left Hand Animal Hospital is currently holding an ongoing fundraiser for the park. It chooses three nonprofits each quarter to donate to, and chose the Niwot Children’s Park this quarter. The animal hospital is doing a three-month-long fundraiser where it is donating one percent of its client’s receipts to the Children’s Park funds for the months of September, October and November.

Local realtor Deborah Fowler also has a standing offer that for any home she closes on in the 80503 zip code, she will make a donation of $500 to the park fund. Fowler will continue this donation until the full fundraising amount is reached.

“What I’m hoping our local businesses understand is that number one, every business in town is going to benefit from this park being done because it’s going to bring more people to town,” Frea said of how the park will impact the town. “Our businesses will benefit from the extra traffic.”

For Frea’s goal on when she hopes to get the full amount raised, she said there isn’t a timeline but the sooner the full amount is raised, the less time kids will have to wait to play in the new park.

“The sooner the better is kind of the message,” Frea mentioned about donations. “The sooner we get to our $500,000, the sooner we’ll have a completed park available for everybody to come and play.”

To learn more about the park, or to make a tax deductible donation to the Niwot Cultural Arts Association, visit niwotchildrenspark.mydagsite.com. Checks can also be mailed to the NCAA at P.O. Box 733, Niwot, CO 80544.


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