By Jim Newell
For a fledgling entertainment event from the fledgling nonprofit Friends of Lake Orion Village Parks, the inaugural Pours for the Parks fundraiser on Saturday, by most measures, was a great success.
“We thought it came together really well. It was well received,” said Rosemary Ford, chair of the Lake Orion Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. “For a first venture I thought it was a good turnout. (Village Councilmember and Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee member) Teresa (Rutt) did, too. I was really pleased with the number of people who showed up to support us.”
While final numbers are not in yet – The Friends of the Lake Orion Village Parks still have to pay some expenses before tabulating the final profits – it looks like the Friends will have some seed money to put toward their projects.
“Every little bit helps,” Ford said, adding The Friends are still accepting donations. “Our first focus is Green’s Park. That park is so great, but it costs so much to do anything with our parks.”
Pours for the Parks was the first fundraiser for the newly-formed The Friends of Lake Orion Village Parks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting Atwater, Children’s, Green’s, Meek’s, Swiss Village and Unger parks. The group partnered with the Village of Lake Orion to raise money to support village park improvements. The parks and recreation advisory committee has an annual budget of $5,000.
Besides food and drink, Pours for the Parks had live music, balloon creations from Village Manager Joe Young (who, incidentally, was the biggest hit with the kids), face painting, coloring and yard games for the adults.
The band took a break at 10 p.m. so guests could watch the Lake Orion Fireworks Association’s Dueling Fireworks show.
“People liked having someplace to go before the fireworks. The tent cleared out a little before 10 p.m., but people came back after the fireworks,” Ford said.
The parks and recreation advisory committee will now analyze the event and discuss the possibility of a second annual Pours for the Parks.
“Right now, we have a wrap-up meeting and will evaluate the results and possibilities for next year,” Ford said, adding that the committee hopes to make a decision in mid-July.
Donations to the Friends of Lake Orion Village Parks can be made payable to the Village of Lake Orion with FOLVP in the memo line. Drop off or mail donations to: Village of Lake Orion, Village Hall, 21 E. Church St., Lake Orion, MI 48362.
Funds are aimed at improving accessibility and multi-age playground features at Green’s Park, including an ADA accessible sidewalk to the water front, estimated at $4,000; a new dock, estimated at $15,000. Play structures, estimated at $18,000 and beach features, like a sand/water table and backhoe digger for the kids.
Future hopes for Green’s Park include a pavilion, but that would be a significant expense, Ford said.
For more on The Friends of Lake Orion Village Parks, visit their Facebook page, facebook.com/folovp, Instagram page, instagram.com/friendsoflovp, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.