ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Before the Dedication ceremony, Claire Garrett (teacher), Paul Fischer (Belvidere Rotary Club), Maria Pearson (Heritage Woods), Rotary Club President Carl Gnewuch, and Bob Bowley gather at the new slide.

By Anne Eickstadt

The Belvidere Rotary Club and the Belvidere Park District held a dedication of the newly renovated Bloom Playground in Belvidere Park, 1006 W. Lincoln Ave., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon. The playground has a new 3-inch thick rubber base, especially beneficial to the participants of the district’s Northlands Association for Special Recreation (NASR).

The NASR program is a cooperative partnership between the Belvidere, Freeport, and Rockford Park Districts. Through the Belvidere Special Recreation Dept. of the Belvidere Park District, services are provided for high quality recreational programs and services. Individuals aged three through adulthood with various mental and physical disabilities who reside in Belvidere and Boone County can enjoy these programs.

The Bloom Playground is located in the northwest corner of Belvidere Park.

The Dedication Ceremony was held in the pavilion next to the playground and Paul Fischer of the Belvidere Rotary Club. He said that the money the Rotary Club donated for the playground had been raised by the ‘Belvidere’s Got Talent’ programs and the shows’ sponsors whom he thanked as well for their support.

Mark Pentecost, executive director of the Belvidere Park District extended his appreciation to the Rotary Club for supporting the Belvidere Park District with a top-notch playground. “We’ve counted up to 50 people on this playground.”

The Belvidere Rotary Club contributed $19,530 toward the purchase of the new playground equipment. The newly renovated playground has a new zip line along with swings and slides. The Belvidere Rotary Club was able to raise the money for this project through a number of talent shows they have held for the last several years.

Previous to this donation for the playground, money had also been donated to the New Horizons program through NASR for those individuals with disabilities 21 and older. The New Horizons program works with individuals on such things as daily living skills, healthy lifestyle concepts, meal planning, and community participation. The Belvidere Rotary Club has been supporting the NASR program since 2012 with donations from the Talent Show fundraisers.

Rotary is the world’s premier international humanitarian service organization. We are a diverse, global network of community, business, and professional leaders who address relevant social causes to change lives and build goodwill and peace at home and abroad.

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