Splash pad fund reaches $150K

Support for Atmore’s first water-themed children’s park continues to grow. In fact, that support has grown beyond the hopes and expectations of the civic club that is spearheading the project.

“It has really taken off,” said Allen Walston of Atmore Rotary Club. “Our original goal was $127,000, and we’re now up to $150,000. Really it was an open-ended goal. The more we raise, the more we would like to do. If we can get another $5,000 or $6,000 we can put up some picnic tables.”

Walston said any “extra” money will allow for installation of shade, benches and other upgrades to the initial plans for Atmore Rotary Club Splash Pad, which is actually a joint effort between Rotarians, Atmore Lions Club and the City of Atmore.

He pointed out that the idea of a new recreational facility for children apparently has been the driving force behind the staggering financial support.

“A lot of people are in awe; they thought we would never even get our original goal,” Walston said. “When they saw how well it was accepted, they all wanted to get on the train. It’s something new that affects and impacts the whole community. The more the community has gotten behind it, the easier it has been for businesses to support it. That’s been the key.”

He added that the support has been a pleasant surprise for him and the other members of the committee overseeing the project.

“We thought people would get on board, but it has been — for lack of a better word — surprising,” he said. “The support has been stronger than the whole community thought.”

The 1,800 square foot splash pad will be built at Johnnie M. Woods Memorial Park, across from Heritage Park. A non-regulation and rarely used tee-ball field will be torn down to make way for the new project.

City crews will maintain the new outdoor activity and the city will pay for the water usage, which is expected to be around 100 gallons per minute.

Walston noted that the project’s scope would grow as the financial support grows.

“Hopefully, down the road, we will continue to raise money to expand the project to include a playground,” he said.

Any individual, business or other entity interested in donating to the splash pad project can do so by sending tax-deductible contributions to Rotary Club of Atmore, P.O. Box 327, Atmore, AL 36502. Please specify that the gift is for the splash pad. For more information, Walston may be reached at 368-1414.