The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Sweet Park Board Accepts Additional Funding


December 4, 2019

The Sweet Park Board announced last week that they have nearly reached their funding goal and should be able to purchase and install new playground equipment at the Sweet Park this summer if a few more dollars trickle in to the Playground Equipment Fund.

With a sizable donation from the Davies Family Endowment Fund of the Montana Community Foundation, the Park Board is seeing the finish line. These funds will be added to the $9,875.00 check from the proceeds of the Brew Fest held during the 2019 CHS All-Class Reunion. Sweet Park Board President, Ben Hall, said he was aware of three additional potential donors, as well.

“When Lloyd D. Sweet designated funds for a park in Chinook, it was determined that the Lions Club would take care of the park,” explained Hall, who is also a member of the Chinook Lions Club.

On behalf of the Sweet Park, the International Association of Lions Clubs applied for and received a $2,000 charitable grant from the Davies Family Endowment Fund of the Montana Community Foundation (MCF). The grant was made at the recommendation of the Davies Family Endowment Fund advisors, one of whom is former Chinook resident, Debra Davies.

Since 1988, the MCF, which is based in Helena, has been helping Montana communities flourish through the power of permanently endowed funds. Dedicated to preserving Montana’s future, the MCH administers more than 900 philanthropic funds, one of which is the Davies Family Endowment Fund.

Hall was pleased to receive the funds from the MCF. “That money will join other deposits in the account we have setup at First Bank for playground equipment,” Hall explained.

Regarding the projected timeline, Hall outlined this order of events: “First raise the money, then get the old slide and swings pulled out, then pour the cement, then have the company install everything.”

Playground Committee members: Kelsie Harwood, Heather Huravitch, Jessica Aberg, and Hall have drawn up a plan. In order to be in compliance with government regulations, the metal curly slide, old wooden equipment, and swings will be replaced with equivalent equipment with an inclusive swing.

The new playground will feature a Fossil Bluff Climber, a 630 Typhoon Slide, a Twister Climber, a Groove II Slide, a Tot Rock Climber, and a Pod Hopper. All of this equipment meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design.

Because of space considerations and to ensure that the sprinkler system isn’t disturbed, the new playground will have essentially the same footprint as the old one.

According to Hall, the Park Board wants to fill in the playground area with concrete and to convex the corners so that water will run off. Then a rubberized mat will be installed on top of the cement for safety reasons. Although the price tag of these items is unknown, the cost of the playground equipment, freight, and installation will be $55,000.

Anyone wishing to donate or to ask questions about the Sweet Park upgrades can call Ben Hall at 357-3277 or contact any one of the other Sweet Park Board members. Checks made out to the Playground Equipment Fund can also be mailed to or dropped off at First Bank, located at 337 Indiana Street in Chinook.

Other Sweet Park Board members include Kelsey Harry; Monica Swank, Secretary; Richard Cronk, Treasurer; Mitch Haider, Chinook City Council Representative; Ken Schubert and Richard Cronk—both Lions Club members; and Linda Haugen, member-at-large, whose service has been long and dedicated.


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