By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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Young, president of the Shane Park Playground Committee, and Port Angeles Parks and Streets Superintendent Corey Delikat installed a sign Friday at the park's Eighth Street entrance showing the planned $120,000 playground and a graph to track the fundraising effort.
The city has already budgeted $60,000 for the playground equipment.
"That gave us a huge leg up on this," Young said Friday.
"It is really going to help a lot."
The Playcraft Systems equipment comes with multiple slides, a wheelchair ramp, monkey bars and a small climbing wall. A spongy surface below the playground will provide added safety, Young said.
Young saw a need for new playground at the west Port Angeles park and decided to do something about it.
"I can see kids over there all the time looking for a place to play during baseball and soccer season," said Young, who lives on Sixth Street right across from the park.
"The kids have nothing to do. I was thinking one day, 'Why don't we try to get some playground equipment?'"
Another inspiration for the effort is the memory of Young's son, Shane Fowler, who died after a construction mishap when the park was being built in 1973.
The park was named after 9-year-old Shane.
Delikat said he is "absolutely" on board with Young's fundraising effort. He is a member of the Shane Park Playground Committee.
"I'm kind of a city representative working with the committee, helping to raise funds and looking at possible grant opportunities," Delikat said.
Currently, a small slide a foot or two off the ground is the only play equipment for children.
Delikat has been an advocate to reestablish a playground at Shane Park for years.
"There has been a need for there for probably 15 years," Delikat said.
After a wooden play area was taken down for safety reasons, the city moved a toddler's play area from the old park at Seventh and D streets to Shane Park about five years ago.
Delikat said Shane Park has a "desperate need for a playground" because there are "so many kids" who use the park.
Delikat said he thinks the committee can raise the rest of the $120,000.
"This is a generous community when people put their heads together," he said.
The closest playground to Shane Park is at the Elks Playfield on West 14th Street between the Eighth Street bridges.
"We just put in a real nice one at the Elks Playfield," Delikat said.
"This one is bigger than that."
The playground equipment will be located on the north side of Shane Park off Sixth Street.
So far, the 11-member Shane Park Playground Committee has raised about $2,500 of the $60,000 still needed.
A dinner, dance and silent auction fundraiser is planned for March 26 at the Port Angeles Elks Lodge.
"We're working on that right now," Young said.
About $400 was generated from a fundraiser at Zaks bar in Port Angeles about two weeks ago, Young said.
Later this year, the city parks department will apply for a state grant to help close the funding gap.
The Shane Park Foundation became the Shane Park Playground Committee when it joined with a Kiwanis Club nonprofit foundation.
"Anyone who donates can deduct it through their taxes," Young said.
"Kiwanis was kind enough to let us piggyback on their [nonprofit status]. They actually opened a savings account at First Federal."
Young thanked the committee members who helped with the sign: Yvonne Boyd purchased the plywood; Matt Bailey put the letters and graphics on the sign; Bob Fowler painted the surface of the sign; Delikat was in charge of installing it.
Young declined to set a date that the playground will open.
"All this is going to take time," she said.
The committee's nonprofit status expires in three years. Young said she is confident it won't take that long.
"It's going to be done way before then," Young predicted.
The city will install the playground equipment after it is fully funded.
"This is a one-time thing," Young said of the committee.
"Once the playground is in place, then we're done with it."
Donations for the Shane Park playground equipment can be mailed to P.O. Box 1064, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Anyone interested in volunteering can e-mail Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at email@example.com.