When the organizers of next month’s charity walk to rebuild a beloved Belmont playground learned recently that the original Joey’s Park was also funded through a series of walkathons, “to me it’s a case of the stars aligning,” says Belmont Partners in Play co-founder Ellen Schreiber.
“It was meant to be,” she said.
The inaugural two-mile Walk for Belmont to Benefit Joey’s Park will be held Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m., beginning and end at Joey’s Park behind the Winn Brook Elementary School on Cross Street.
The cost will be $10 per person and $20 for families.
The walk, designed so everyone from babies in strollers to grandparents can participate, “[I]s going to be a blast,” said Schreiber.
“We’re going to have 1,000 walkers all walking through Belmont to support Joey’s Park,“ she predicted.
Joey’s Park was built in memory of 12-year-old Joey O’Donnell. Now 23-years-old, the wooden structure adjacent the Winn Brook is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.
A volunteer group, the Friends of Joey’s Park, is spearheading the effort to build a new park in much the same way the original park was built: children will offer design ideas and a year from this month, hundreds of volunteers will come together for what Schreiber describes as “a community barn raising.”
The Walk for Belmont is the first fundraiser presented by Belmont Partners in Play, a new “friends” group dedicated to Belmont’s parks and recreational facilities that was created as a response to the closure of the Butler Elementary School playground and Joey’s Park.
“It just made sense for us all to work together as a Belmont community to preserve and restore our treasured outdoor and recreational spaces,” said Belmont Partners in Play co-founder Coralie DiTommaso.
“And the Walk for Belmont is the perfect way to bring the whole town together to support our valued resources,” she said.
The Walk for Belmont is made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation, the lead sponsor for the event.
“Belmont Savings Bank and Foundation have believed in us from the very beginning,” said DiTommaso.
Many local businesses are offering generous prizes. The top fundraiser will receive an iPad courtesy of Belmont Savings Bank; the first 400 kids to register will get a free T-shirt; and anyone who raises $100 or more will be entered into a raffle to win prizes donated by Belmont merchants.
Business sponsors, merchant donations and volunteers are welcome. Walkers who can’t make the Oct. 14 date, can still sign up and do a virtual walk at another time.
Register and learn more at http://Walk.JoeysPark.org