6.10.2012

Chloe's Sunshine Playground in the News!

I was bummed and discouraged when the benefit concert featuring Mindy Gledhill got cancelled, but I was quickly cheered up when I got the news about the Davis County Gala proceeds going to the playground AND a HUGE donation that was approved by the Davis County Commission. That will teach me to NEVER stop believing in the power of a dream and the goodness of others. I did nothing to make these two things happen. This good news was all brought to pass because OTHERS believe in Chloe's Sunshine Playground! I am humbled and grateful. Thank you, everyone!!!!!

Davis County Gala

Featuring the African Children's Choir


By Bryon Saxton of The Standard Examiner 4/24/12

A “wild” jungle theme is in place for this year’s annual Davis County Gala, and it’s expected that proceeds from the event will go a long way toward the development of Utah’s first fully accessible “unlimited play park” for children with special needs.

The annual black-tie affair, to be held the evening of Sept. 6 at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, will feature the African Children’s Choir, with all proceeds going to Chloe’s Sunshine Playground in Centennial Park in Syracuse.


The 5-acre park, to be developed around 1979 S. 1900 West, behind the Syracuse police station, is being billed by officials as meeting the state’s strict criteria for being its first unlimited play park.
The park is inspired by Syracuse mother Tara Bennett and her 5-year-old daughter, Chloe, who has special needs.

Based on the past success of the gala, the goal is to generate $35,000 to $40,000 toward developing the park, Davis County Commissioner John Petroff Jr. said.

The cost to attend the gala is $125 per person. Various sponsorship packages also are available.
The African Children’s Choir, in traditional dress, will sing and dance to spiritual renditions of inspirational songs, Davis Conference Center Director of Operations Dave Hilliard said.

The choir represents countries throughout Africa and is made up of children from 7 to 11 years old, he said. “(The choir has) traveled the world, been featured on the largest awards shows, and sang with industry stars such as Josh Groban.”

Davis County Gala Chairwoman Valerie Davis said having the gala contribute to the park project is “an incredible opportunity” for the community, because the park will be a first for Northern Utah.

“This park will be a destination for families with special-needs children that deserve a safe place to play just like any child,” Davis said.

Syracuse officials are also ecstatic that the county has selected the park as a gala recipient.

“What better thing can a community do than to come together for its children,” Syracuse Mayor Jamie Nagle said.

Nearly $200,000 in grants and private donations has already been raised for the park, including a $75,000 donation from Zions Banks and a $5,000 contribution from Layton entrepreneur and former state Sen. Haven J. Barlow.

But Nagle said having the project listed as a gala recipient is a major boon for the park, which is expected to feature a music garden and universally accessible playground equipment.

“If you’re a parent with a disabled child, there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do so that (your children) are not encumbered,” Nagle said.

Because of the $1 million cost involved with developing the park, Nagle said, it is likely the project may have to be completed in two different phases, with the hope of being able to break ground on the first phase this fall.

“This really is about a community coming together,” Nagle said.

“The purpose of the gala is to first, celebrate Davis County and the Davis Conference Center; second, to entertain, bringing top-notch performers to Davis County; and third, to give back by selecting a worthy cause to support,” Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said.

She added that, based on what the park will offer special-needs children, it is likely families from outside the county will also benefit from the park.

For more information and for tickets contact Davis County Community & Economic Development at 801-451-3286 or Neka@daviscountyutah.gov\

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Davis County Commission Donation
 
By Bryon Saxton of The Standard Examiner 5/22/12

Donations continue to roll in for a $1 million Syracuse park designed to provide unlimited play for special needs children.

The latest is $75,000 from the Davis County Commission. The contribution, approved by the commission Tuesday, will come from funds the county receives as part of its Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Earth work on the park, known as Chloe's Sunshine Playground in Centennial Park, is slated to begin this fall, officials say.

The county providing CDBG funds toward developing the park is part of a "great partnership" between the county and Syracuse city, Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said.

The CDBG money the commission committed to the 5-acre park at 1979 S. 1900 West is in addition to the funds the county will generate for the project through its annual gala.

All proceeds from the annual black-tie affair, to be held Sept. 6 at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, will go toward developing the park.

County officials hope, based on previous galas, that the event will raise $35,000 to $40,000 for the park.
The county received $673,483 from the federal government to support community development and produce more affordable housing. The county has allocated those funds to nine organizations, with the Syracuse park receiving one of the larger contributions.

"This particular park is one of a kind," Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn said of the project, which is drawing support community-wide.

Nearly $200,000 in grants and private donations have already been raised for the park, including a $75,000 donation from Zions Bank and a $5,000 contribution from Layton entrepreneur Haven J. Barlow, said Syracuse Mayor Jamie Nagle.

The park project may have to be done in phases, Nagle said, because of the development costs. The park is billed by officials as meeting the state's strict criteria for being its first unlimited play park, meaning it is accessible to all children including those with special needs.

"We're confident will we have the first phase (of the park) done by the first of next year," Nagle said.
"I think every partnership is critical, and the county has just supported us, knowing this is not only a draw for the city, but for the county."

Construction should begin in the fall, Nagle said, and will bring in many people from outside the area.
"It is such a positive thing. I feel like the momentum is there," she said.

The park is inspired by Syracuse mother Tara Bennett and her 5-year-old daughter, Chloe, who has special needs.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

Tara, I'm so excited for you! Bravo my dear friend!

T said...

This is great news!!

How is Chloe? Is she still doing her dancing? x

Cristina Might said...

Tara, this is fantastic! We can't way to go play there! How are you, Oby and Chloe? Things have been quiet around here and Kidz. I hope this means you are all busy enjoying a fantastic summer. :) Hugs!

Unknown said...

We are so excited to host this amazing event at the Davis Conference Center... and it's visionaries like you that make our community great and come together. It's going to be a WILD night... we have a website for info about the event at www.daviscountygala.com

thanks! Dave Hilliard, Dir of Ops at Davis Conference Center