OK, Oro Valley, you have the power to win the town $25,000 for park enhancements with a simple click of your mouse.
Thanks to your votes last week, the Oro Valley project to place playground equipment that is compliant with American Disabilities Act requirements at a local park moved from fourth place up to first place in a national grant competition. But it will take daily voting online to win.
The Town of Oro Valley is a finalist in a competition to receive a $25,000 grant to pay for the proposed project, which is a joint collaboration between town staff and the Oro Valley Kiwanis Club.
In order for the project to win one of the 40 grants being donated by the Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Oro Valley must secure the No. 1 slot and prevent the Phoenix project “Bringing Smiles One Toy at a Time” from taking over.
To celebrate being in business 40 years, the Keg Steakhouse & Bar started the national campaign to donate $1 million in grants. The Thanks A Million campaign sought project proposals nationwide with plans to donate $25,000 to 40 programs.
Paul Evans, general manager of Oro Valley’s own Keg Steakhouse & Bar, said he is excited for a local project to be named a finalist, but as he pointed out last week, everyone with an email address must get online and vote for Oro Valley’s project to win.
The final 40 projects are only going to be selected through popular vote. The deadline is June 14. Participants may vote once daily.
The website can be found at www.thekegthanksamillion.com. Once there, go to view project by region, choose Arizona, and vote on the Oro Valley project.
Ainsley Legner, the Oro Valley parks, recreation, library, and cultural resources director, said it was a community and staff effort to come up with the project that was finally chosen for Oro Valley.
The Town of Oro Valley currently has four parks, but there are not any integrated and universally accessible playgrounds located in close proximity to Oro Valley and its residents.
The closest is at Christopher Columbus Park in Pima County, which is at least 7.2 miles away by car. Other accessible playgrounds are up to 16 miles away.
The cost for the project is estimated at $10,000 for the playground equipment, and $15,000 for the purchase and installation of the surface.
Town staff, service club volunteers and community residents will provide labor and associated tasks.
If the funding is awarded, officials estimate the new addition will be be complete within the required one-year time frame.