The Duncan Banner
A Tilt-A-Whirl, a train, a carousel, hot dogs and prizes is a mixture that not only adds up to fun, but also fundraising.
Lately, there have been a couple of projects to improve the safety and look of Kiddieland inside Fuqua Park. Leadership Duncan Class XVI kicked off fundraising for a new fence for the park with a special event Saturday afternoon at Kiddieland.
For a donation, kids could enter the park to ride the rides and enjoy time together. Close to 500 people were expected to turn out for the event because of the close ties of Kiddieland to the community. Many Duncan residents either went as children or have taken their own children.
“I’m a teacher and we handed out postcards announcing (the event) to our kids,” said Eme Sanders. “I wanted to support them in any way we could. And my daughter just loves the Tilt-A-Whirl.”
The new fence the class is hoping to erect by the end of the summer is going to cost near $30,000. While they were aware this event wouldn’t raise the entire amount, they had a tentative goal in mind.
“We would love to get $5,000; that would be ideal,” said Sandy Stewart. “Depending on how we come out today will determine how many more fundraisers we do.”
In addition to the donations to get inside the park, hot dog meals were available to the public for a low price. All of the food and drinks were donated, which helped increase the profit margin.
A live broadcast by Lori Riojas, marketing director for 97.1 Kickin’ Country, was done throughout the first two hours of the event. Gina Flesher, a member of the class, said that Riojas donated her time to draw people to the area and to announce prizes that had been donated to the cause.
“We’re Duncan’s radio station and (the park) is in proximity to the station,” Riojas said. “We want to try to be there for every cause we can to make our town better.”
Some members of the Leadership Duncan class mentioned that most of them have grown up in Duncan and after much discussion, decided upon the project for the park because they spent time there as children. Also, it is a way to improve the appearance in order to draw in more tourists and new residents.
“It’s gotten to the point that it needs the repairs,” said Rick King. “We want to make it look good and hopefully it will bring more industry to the area.”
Not only will the new fence look more attractive with a renovation, organizers said, but it will help safety issues related to the park. The fence will keep children inside the park while visiting and will also be able to protect the park and its rides from anyone entering after hours.
The class will continue to take donations for the fence until the total amount is raised.