Community fundraisers help make Shane Park a place for kids
By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
Print This | Email This
3rd UPDATE — I-5 bridge collapses; people, vehicles tossed into Skagit River. 3 injured, no deaths -- 5/23/13 -10:03 PM
Latest military sex scandal: Women were secretly filmed at West Point, Army says -- 5/23/13 -04:20 PM
State's top salaries go to college coaches -- 5/23/13 -03:52 PM
No pay raise for Washington governor this year, but others, including judges, get increases -- 5/23/13 -03:43 PM
Boy Scouts vote to admit openly gay youth -- 5/23/13 -03:31 PM
“It's just a great big thank-you to everybody,” said Young, president of the Shane Park Playground Committee. “They know who they are.”
Over the past 18 months, the committee has raised more than $70,000 to help the city of Port Angeles purchase and install a state-of-the-art play set through a series of creative community fundraisers.
The new playground equipment will feature slides, towers, monkey bars, a climbing wall, swings and an upside-down merry-go-round.
It will be installed on a 6,000-square-foot site near the public restrooms in the center of the park in the early fall, said city Parks and Streets Superintendent Corey Delikat.
Young put a message on a sign at the west Port Angeles park that has tracked the fundraising effort for more than a year.
“We did it,” it reads. “Thank you PA.”
In a Friday interview, Young said she had “no idea what to expect” when she formed the committee.
“I went into this not having a clue as to what I was doing,” she said.
Young lives near the park, which is located between Sixth and Eighth streets and G and E streets.
From her porch, she often sees children looking for things to do while their parents play softball. The existing playground consists of a small yellow slide.
The park has a special meaning for Young, whose son, Shane Fowler, died after a piece of equipment fell on top of him when the park was being built in 1973.
The park was named after the 9-year-old boy.
“No. 1, this is for the children,” Young said. “It is also for Shane, but it's for the children who are here with us.”
She added: “I've always felt that Shane is here looking over us.”
Young took her idea for a new playground to then-City Councilwoman and current Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd.
Kidd provided some direction, suggesting that Young form a committee and organize community fundraisers to help the city.
The committee solicited donations through the Port Angeles Kiwanis Club.
“It just kind of snowballed,” Young said. “People came forward and offered to help, and I really had no idea that that was going to happen.”
City officials knew that Shane Park — one of Port Angeles' largest — needed an upgrade.
The city has committed $100,546 in equipment and labor costs.
Last week, the city was awarded a $39,627 grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office to complete the project.
The play set will be raised after the grant contract is signed, Delikat said. Crews have plenty of prep work to do in the meantime.
“It actually works out better,” Delikat said.
Lakeside Industries will hold a work party later this month to fill the area inside a concrete curb that exists around the perimeter.
Crews will leave 3.5 inches of clearance for rubber safety tiles that will protect playing children.
The playground will be wheelchair-accessible.
Examples of the kind of fundraisers the Shane Park committee has held include community breakfasts, celebrity dinners, bowling parties, dice games and a pickleball marathon.
“Thank you to the playground committee,” Delikat said. “We were able to help get some funding, but they did all the legwork.”
Young displayed a list containing the names of more than 250 individuals and businesses that contributed to the playground through donations of their time, money, services or products.
At the top of the list were Kidd, Delikat and 17 current and past members of the Shane Park Playground Committee.
The committee has been composed of Young, Bob Fowler, Benjamin Fowler, Amy Billings, Katie Osorio, Brenda Tassie, Howard and Lily Lacy, Holly Lacy, Ken and Julie Reandeau, Cindy Conner, Julie Grinnell, Shelly Raymer, Ray Doty, Jeana Johnson, Leanne Johnson and Susan Stoneman.
Young also displayed a poem written by her sister, Bobbi Edwards, in memory of Shane Fowler.
“Your spirit is always with us,” it reads. “You show us understanding and compassion/how to bring a community together/a community with love, strength, support.”
It concludes: “When our children are playing/laughing at Shane Park/you will be watching over them/with your wings spread under the wind/your spirit will keep them safe.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 05. 2012 6:12PM