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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 that were cut during the recent budget cycle.

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. The Parks and Recreation Department hopes to raise $25,000 to fund 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,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Fletcher. “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.”

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.

Activities that the department is seeking fundraising for include:

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

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

• The Fun Mobile, which travels the Island through the summer and brings activities and fun to neighborhoods, parks, camps and beaches.

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.

For more information, contact Recreation Superintendant Diane Mortenson at (206) 275-7861 or diane.mortenson@mercergov.org.

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