Published: February 6, 2014
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What started a few years ago as a passing “what if,” in the mind of one Taylor resident as she sat watching her grandchild play in an Abington-area splash park, has materialized into to a momentous fundraising effort, with a reach that has extended some 2,000 miles, and garnered a total so far of $27,529.65 in donations.
Peg Derenick, one of the founding members of the Taylor Splash Park Committee, and that “daydreaming grandmother” who has led a team of volunteers from Taylor Borough dedicated to creating a free place for children to come and cool off in the summer, could barely contain her excitement when news arrived last year that another member of the group — Jody Oustrich — had been working behind the scenes to secure a $5,000 donation via his brother Ryan’s employer, Vivint.
Vivint, which has more than 800,000 customers across the US and Canada, made the donation via its “Vivint Gives Back Foundation.”
According to the company, Vivint Gives Back donated more than $4 million dollars and 10,999 hours of community service to more than 100 non-profit organizations thought the US and Canada.
Ryan, a Riverside graduate who currently resides near Provo, Utah, first learned of the project while visiting family in Taylor. After his company superiors learned of the planned project, Vivint presented the donation on his behalf.
The committee also benefitted from the Infect Scranton Zombie Survivor Challenge, earning $2,000 in 2013 and $1,000 in 2012.
Additionally, the committee has been working diligently for the just over a year to raise the necessary fund to construct the proposed splash park without using taxpayer funds. Their efforts have included baked sales, breakfast with Santa, breakfast with the bunny, daily number lottery sales and a silly string day at Riverside Elementary East.
The committee has also received help from individuals and businesses.
Currently, members of the committee are actively seeking grants through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, that would also provide matching funds to the committees fundraising efforts. They are also submitting for other grants to include the Lackwanna County Community Reinvest Program.
Although the estimated cost of the splash park is $275,000 it is a three year project, with project completion estimated in 2015.
And while it may seem that they have a long way to go in order to reach their goal, Derenick is every bit excited today as she was when the committee’s bank rolls where much less.
“We’ll get there,” she said. “The more people see how far we’ve come in such a short time, the more businesses, like Jody’s brother’s company, step forward ... we’ll get this built.”
Donations can be made to Taylor Splash Park and sent to Taylor Borough, 122 Union St., Taylor, Pa. 18517.