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Two More Fundraisers Confirmed: Lions Club Gets A Huge Boost With Appropriation For Playground Project



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With a recent appropriation of $90,000 from a town budget surplus, the Newtown Lions Club is hoping that a pair of public events will put their fundraising efforts toward adaptive playground equipment into the black.

“That was not a trivial amount,” Neil Randle recently told The Newtown Bee.

Randle is a member of the Playground Project Committee formed last year by the local Lions. The local club has been raising funds since May 2020 to purchase and install adaptive playground equipment at Dickinson Memorial Park.

The club, Randle added, has “been working very closely” with town leaders including First Selectman Dan Rosenthal and Parks & Recreation Department Director Amy Mangold. He and others in the club, he said, “are so grateful” for the financing.

“Our target is $174,000 for everything we want to do,” Randle said. “The approval of those funds puts us at $168,000.”

Rosenthal proposed and received approval from the Board of Selectmen on August 16 for the appropriation of $90,000. The funds came out of a $915,000 budget surplus.

The Board of Finance approved the transfer during its August 26 meeting. The Legislative Council followed suit during its September 1 meeting.

The transfer is expected to be administered to the local Lions Club by mid-September.

The Parks & Recreation Department has committed, according to Randle, $35,000 work of labor and groundwork.

The Lions had raised $42,750 as of August 19, he said. The club has additionally received the promise of a $2,000 price break from M.E. O’Brien & Sons, the Medway, Mass., distributor of playground equipment the club has decided to go with.

Randle told The Newtown Bee in August that the club expects to purchase the Sway Fun, which carries a purchase price $27,670; the We-Go-Swing, $32,745; and the We-Go-Round, $31,170.

Fundraisers Planned

The Lions Club will continue its playground fundraising efforts with at least two events this season.

The first is a community tag sale scheduled for Saturday, September 25, from 10 am until 2 pm, in front of Chintz-N-Prints, 39 South Main Street.

To participate or donate items for the tag sale, contact Randle at neilprandle1962@gmail.com.

Note that “enormous items, car seats, baby carriages, or clothes” will not be accepted for the sale.

The second event is a Halloween Night trivia quiz being planned for Friday, October 22. This event is confirmed, Randle said, “subject to COVID.”

Costumes are encouraged, and all ages are welcome to join the club in the Great Room of Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street, from 7 to 9:30 that evening.

A mid-October Stay At Home Treasure Hunt is also a possibility, Randle noted. Two previous events have been very successful for the club, with the second one, this past spring, realizing more than $1,800 through many donations of loose change.

To donate directly to the project, visit newtownlions.com.

Randle is very optimistic that with the current fund levels and upcoming fundraising efforts, the Lions will make the town’s parks more enjoyable for even more residents and visitors.

“Hopefully we will be breaking ground before winter, and then open in the spring,” Randle said. “The progress we’ve made so far has been thanks to a lot of very generous people.”


Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at shannon@thebee.com.

A We-Go-Round is one of three pieces of adaptive playground equipment the Newtown Lions Club plans to purchase and have installed in a Newtown park once its $174,000 Playground Project fundraising goal is met. —M.E. O’Brien & Sons photo
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