Guest Column: Rockford Park District—the mission continues

Dear Mr. [Frank] Schier [editor and publisher of The Rock River Times]:

While the summer has come to an end, planning for next year at the Rockford Park District has just begun. For 25 years, the Rockford Park District Foundation has been helping the Park District to fulfill its mission of helping people to enjoy life. Philanthropy has been a major part of the successful development of the District since its beginning nearly a century ago and continues to play a vital role. We are most grateful for your past support of the Foundation and invite you to continue to be a part of this tradition.

In order to meet the community’s needs and expectations, the Rockford Park District has long relied on a variety of funding sources in addition to property taxes. This variety is reflected in the chart on the following page; charitable contributions play a vital role.

Today, over 30 percent of the land on which your parks and facilities are built was donated. In addition, many, many gifts have been given in support of programs, fee assistance, needed services and goods. Contributions to the Foundation totaling over $15.5 million in the past decade have helped to sustain the parks, programs and facilities that you value.

All of the gifts received by the Foundation have helped to bridge the gap between the Park District’s budget and the expressed expectations for our community. From the new junior golf facilities and programs at Ingersoll Golf Course, to fee assistance, to Music in the Parks at the Sinnissippi Band Shell, to the City of Gardens hanging baskets and leadership of the community’s entry into the America in Bloom contest, the generosity of the citizens of the Rockford Park District has made all of the difference.

Please help us to meet this challenge and live up to these standards. Your gift today to the Rockford Park District Foundation will allow us to assist those who cannot pay the full fees for the District’s camps and programs, continue the work of the City of Gardens, acquire needed land, and much more. Your contribution has the power to change lives; the return on your investment will be significant.

Thank you for considering your next gift to the Rockford Park District Foundation.

Editor’s note: Donations may be made by check payable to: Rockford Park District Foundation, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford, IL 61107.

From the Nov. 23-29, 2005, issue

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