A private group of Fort Calhoun residents has begun organizing fundraising events in its effort to raise half the funds needed to construct a splash pad in a park planned for the Adams Street Corridor.
The group, Friends of the Fort Calhoun Splash Pad, hopes to raise $250,000 of the estimated $500,000 cost by spring so the city can begin construction.
The group is planning a Boots and Bling Ball and Gala in November to fundraise for the park, member Ronee Christensen said.
"We have locked in many of the details for the gala," she said. "Our group is excited to see there is interest in the gala for the splash pad, Adams Street park."
The gala will be held at the property owned by Jeff and Kelli Shaner in Fort Calhoun. South Creek Wedding and Events will cater the event, while a live band and live and silent auctions are planned.
Christensen said the group is also planning more fundraising events in addition to the gala.
The group plans to host a trivia night in January. It is also working with Washington County Bank in Fort Calhoun on a "decorate the jar" fundraiser, with jars displayed at the November gala.
"We will be getting the children involved, too," Christensen said. "Kids can decorate a jar, fill it with change, and take their jars to the bank to be added to the collection toward the splash pad."
Christensen also said the group was approved to work with the Blair Area Community Foundation to help secure funding.
Earlier this year, the Fort Calhoun City Council approved conceptual designs for the park, located near Adams, Monroe and 12th streets. No firm construction dates were set at the time for the park, which is to include a splash pad, stage space, restrooms, picnic area, gas fire pit and parking areas.
Construction is expected to occur as the city gains funding through its budget, sales tax earmarked for parks and other avenues. The splash pad is expected to be the first part of the park completed. The city has already received a $50,000 splash pad grant from the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District, and has been setting aside sales tax money for the park.
"In all, everything is going great," Christensen said of the group's efforts. "We have a large group of community members committed to raising the funds, and thus far, we have heard a lot of positive feedback from the community asking how they can help and offering donations."