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VOL. 130 | NO. 16 | Monday, January 26, 2015

Shelby Farms Campaign Closes In on Last $100,000

By Bill Dries

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The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy hopes to close out its $70 million capital fundraising campaign by Sunday, Feb. 1, for the “Heart of the Park” improvements already underway.

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy has $50,000 to go in a $100,000 capital campaign that would trigger a $1 million challenge grant from an anonymous donor.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The last part of the campaign is a public appeal for $100,000 that will trigger an additional $1 million gift from an anonymous donor.

“We knew that there was a pent-up desire for all of our park supporters and people throughout the community to be a part of this really extraordinary and remarkable project,” said Laura Morris, executive director of the conservancy.

“Until we launched the public campaign, there wasn’t really a way for people to be able to get involved,” she said. “The donations we had to the campaign prior to that ranged anywhere from $10,000 to $20 million. The public campaign helps us reach our goal and it also allows people to contribute at any level that they are comfortable with.”

Through the end of last week, the effort had raised $50,000 with a set of 155 contributions ranging from $4 to $5,000.

The contributions are being collected online at www.shelbyfarmspark.org/capital-campaign as well as at Victory Bicycle Studio in the Broad Avenue Arts District, Outdoors Inc. on Germantown Parkway, Cheffies in High Point Terrace by the Shelby Farms Greenline and Swanky’s Taco Shop at Poplar and Kirby Parkway.

“We wanted to establish a goal for the public part of the campaign that was aspirational but achievable,” Morris said. “There’s a big push to the finish line to get from $50,000 to $100,000 by the end of January. That’s a tight time frame. We think it’s doable. If donations trickle in after Jan. 31, I know that they will still be able to count toward the $1 million challenge.”

The fundraising sprint to the end of the month is being helped by the construction progress in the park, including the work on the expansion of Patriot Lake that is visible from Walnut Grove Road, and the relocation of the park’s buffalo herd to a north pasture as well as the conservancy’s move out of the old Visitors Center to make way for a new one using materials from the old one.

“There’s a buzz,” Morris said. “It’s progress when people start seeing dirt work.”

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