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Want to help fund a splash pad?

Rochester Parks Foundation starts fundraiser to help fill gap in Lincolnshire Park project

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Lincolnshire Park Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

The Rochester Parks Foundation is seeking to raise $100,000 to help put a splash pad in Lincolnshire Park.

Plans for the water feature in the park at 5276 Members Parkway NW were stymied earlier this year when park officials discovered it would require restroom facilities to be added. The addition didn’t fit into the $299,000 budget.

Foundation Board President Andy Masterpole said the funding gap provides an ideal opportunity to get the community involved.

“If every person in Rochester gave $1, we would have a splash pad,” he said. “But we know it’s not that simple, so we are going to need $1 from a few and a bit more than that from a lot more.”

The private effort has already received a commitment of $12,000 in matching funds from the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation, as well as a second matching pledge that could boost the total to $40,000 with enough community participation.

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Masterpole said the foundation has some verbal commitments that could put the $12,000 match within reach, and members have yet to start contacting local corporations for support.

“We feel we can really hit the ground running,” he said.

With the launch of an online fundraiser at www.4giving.com/donation/B345 on Tuesday morning, donations had added $855 to the initial $12,000 by 2:30 p.m.

Foundation members point out that putting the fundraiser on the 4Giving platform adds a local connection to the effort since the fundraising startup launched in Rochester.

“It’s a great, easy-to-use platform for what we want to do,” Masterpole said. “The fact that it is also a local just makes sense for an organization like ours. By supporting the splash pad you’re also supporting the growth of a local startup business.”

The fundraiser did launch the day after the Rochester City Council approved putting a parks referendum on the Nov. 3 ballot to seek an annual $2 million through property taxes for park improvements.

Masterpole said the timing is a coincidence and the two efforts should not be in conflict.

“We see this as a separate thing,” he said,

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The Rochester Parks Foundation is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit dedicated to supporting the Rochester, Minnesota Parks system and can be reached at rparksfoundation@gmail.com or rochesterparksfoundation.org.

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