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Funds needed for Parks and Rec. programs

The city is looking for private money to pick up the slack for parks and recreation activities — including Parks and Recreation Department fundraising to save Adventure Playground.

In order to balance the 2011-2012 budget, the Mercer Island City Council made a number of budget cuts to bridge a projected $2.9 million gap in 2010 and a $3 million gap in 2011. Budget cuts affected all city departments, including Parks and Recreation. Now the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department is asking for your help to save a number of recreation and special events programs from expiring, including Adventure Playground, Community Campout, the April egg hunts and the Fun Mobile.

The Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department hopes to raise $25,000 to fund these recreation and special events programs for the community in 2011.

“After making nearly $400,000 in cuts to the Parks and Recreation budget in 2011 and 2012, we just don’t have the funds available to offer special events programs like Adventure Playground anymore. We hope Mercer Islanders will rally to show their support for these special events programs that keep people active and enhance community and family life here on the Island,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Fletcher.

The Parks and Recreation Department is accepting donations of any amount online, in person at its Luther Burbank Park or Community Center offices, or via mail. Donate online, or drop off or mail a check to the Parks and Recreation Department, attention: Diane Mortenson at 2040 84th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island, Wash., 98040. In-person donations can also be made with cash or by credit card. Donations are tax deductible.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mercer Islanders, the fundraiser is off to a great start,” said Fletcher. “But we still have a ways to go to meet our goal of $25,000. If you value programs like Adventure Playground, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Parks and Recreation Department. We know times are tight for everyone, but even a little goes a long way.”

Other activities that the department is seeking fundraising for are the community campout, egg hunts and the Fun Mobile.

• The annual community campout included 24 families last summer in its first year at Luther Burbank Park.

• The egg hunts are held every April, giving kids the chance to search for eggs, candy and prizes at Mercerdale Park.

• The Fun Mobile travels the Island during the summer to bring fun activities to neighborhoods, parks, camps and beaches.

For more information on the Parks and Recreation Department $25,000 fundraiser, contact Recreation Superintendant Diane Mortenson at (206) 275-7861 or diane.mortenson@mercergov.org.

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