Burr Ridge Park Foundation VP works to make parks better
BURR RIDGE — The village’s parks are among the many things Mary Harrell loves about her hometown. Along with a handful of others, she’s made it her mission to make the park district and its facilities the best they can be.
But they’re always looking for assistance.
“We’re looking for some help,” said Harrell, Burr Ridge Park Foundation vice president.
Harrell became a founding member of the Foundation in 2008.
“We’re a group of citizens interested in helping the park district meet its goals,” Harrell said.
One of those goals has been to keep the Woods Pool functioning.
“It’s such a nice facility,” said Harrell, a frequent visitor to the pool. Yet each year, the park district struggles to keep it afloat. Through its fund-raisers, the foundation tries to ease the financial burden the pool places on the park district.
Harrell said the park district is an important part of Burr Ridge, and its programs and facilities have been a big part of her life, and the life of her family. Her parents participated in the park district’s activities for seniors, and her daughters, now in college and high school, took advantage of the children’s programming.
“I’ve always been impressed with the quality of work that they do. I’ve always been a fan,” Harrell said.
As fall approaches, the Foundation will gear up for Harvest Fest, where it once again will offer tethered balloon rides as a fund-raiser.
“That was our debut event,” Harrell said, and it has proven a success year after year.
But another annual event, the Fashion Show and Tea, was cancelled this spring due to a lack of ticket sales.
While she and her fellow Foundation members aren’t ready to call it quits on the Fashion Show and Tea, Harrell said it’s time for some new ideas. That’s where new members come in.
Foundation board members will help come up with fund-raising ideas and will help put those ideas to work for the park district. Along with board members, who meet on a monthly basis, Harrell said the Foundation needs volunteers to help as needed.
“For the empty nesters out there, it’s a nice thing to do with your time,” she said. “It’s a friendly group.”
Volunteers don’t have to live in Burr Ridge. The park district serves people from throughout the area, and all are welcome to get involved.
Along with its balloon rides and spring tea, the Foundation is hoping to hold its inaugural family bike event in 2013. With enough money, Harrell said the Foundation hopes to offer scholarships to families who can’t afford to take advantage of park district programming.
Anyone interested in helping the park district Foundation can call Jamie Janusz at (630) 920-1969, or send an email to email@example.com.