by Dennis Dalman
Donations continue to roll in for the regional Inclusive Playground project in Lions Community Park in Sartell.
On Feb. 6, the Bernick Family Foundation approved a grant of $20,000 for the project, a check that was presented by Jason Bernick at a Lions Club meeting in Sartell. The project is a collective effort by three local Lions clubs – ones in Sartell, LeSauk Township and St. Stephen. The Sartell-St. Stephen School District has heartily endorsed the playground concept and so has the Sartell City Council. The city will contribute to it, including construction at the site.
Last month, those Lions clubs presented a check for $240,000 to the City of Sartell, money raised by Lions’ fundraisers with $100,000 added from Lions International.
Sartell Lions Club members Stu Giffin and Jim Muellenbach are co-chairs of the playground project.
The inclusive playground is open for all children and adults of all abilities, a safe and accessible place to play together and have fun, including for those who are physically challenged.
The facility will be located on a rubberized surface that facilitates strollers, walkers, wheelchairs and the mobility-challenged to access the play equipment including ramps, decks, interactive play panels, a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round and two zip lines. The 6,000 square-foot rubberized surface will be multicolored with places for hopscotch and balancing games.
Bernick’s, a long-time family-owned business, has for many years contributed to local needs and causes, donating 5 percent of its net profits each year to more than 100 causes. This year, a total of $150,000 will be given by Bernick’s to 10 programs in its service areas in Wisconsin and Minnesota, including the inclusive-playground project.