McKinley Barrier Free Park offers families a variety of alternative options for those who may have different needs or disabilities.

McKinley Barrier Free Park offers families a variety of alternative options for those who may have different needs or disabilities.

Photo provided by Sue Fox


Fraser booster club seeks contributions to complete work on barrier-free park

By: Brendan Losinski | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published October 7, 2021

 After not being able to fundraise in 2020, the Fraser First Booster Club is hosting a community challenge to make up the lost revenue to continue building and improving McKinley Barrier Free Park, pictured.

After not being able to fundraise in 2020, the Fraser First Booster Club is hosting a community challenge to make up the lost revenue to continue building and improving McKinley Barrier Free Park, pictured.

Photo provided by Sue Fox

Advertisement

FRASER — The Fraser First Booster Club is hosting a fundraising initiative to compensate for not being able to host most of its fundraisers in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Called the Community Challenge, the goal is to make up the $12,000 the organization was short for this year’s budget.

“Right now, we are in the middle of the community challenge. We started it on Sept. 1,” Fraser First President Sherry Stein recently said. “Because of COVID, we haven’t had any fundraisers in the last year and a half. Our biggest fundraiser is our annual dance, and that raises about $10,000-12,000. We couldn’t do that last year. So we had to raise $12,000 of the $55,000 we get a year.”

The money will go toward improvements to the McKinley Barrier Free Park in Fraser, which Fraser First has been building and improving for the last several years.

“This year, the donations will be used for the ZipKrooz, which is a 50-foot zip line that will have wheelchair and non-wheelchair accessibility,” Stein said. “We wanted to do this because we love to see kids smile and kids with different abilities able to play together. That’s what the whole park is about. This was 100% privately funded, so none of this comes from the city or any other municipality. It should be up and running by the spring of 2022.”

Stein said that the initiative has done well in its first month, but they are encouraging members of the community to use this as an opportunity to not only help them meet their goal but to get involved and see what Fraser First is all about.

“This challenge is going on until the end of October,” she said. “We have raised $10,000 to date so we are still $2,000 short. With COVID, fundraisers have been hard, so we’re just going to the community and asking them to step in and help us with this challenge.”

Stein said people can get involved by visiting www.fraserfirst.com or contacting her at sherry.stein@fraserfirst.com.

Among those who have already contributed to the Community Challenge was the Hanover Grove Cooperative.

“On the zip line, we threw in $5,000 for the community challenge,” said Hanover Grove’s Board President, Gary Niedojadlo. “We like to support this because McKinley Park is on the northern barrier of our cooperative. Many of those living in Hanover Grove, many of whom are limited mobility and are confined to wheelchairs and so forth. It provides exercise and outdoor fun for people and lets them enjoy time outdoors with their families.”

Niedojadlo said the staff and residents of Hanover Grove have been proponents of McKinley Barrier Free Park from its inception and are glad to contribute to helping bring something new and positive to Fraser.

“We have people from our development involved from day one with the park,” he said. “We helped set up the playscape and provided help setting up posts and prepared the area when they had to bring in machinery to dig holes. This saved them from having to use city money to pay (Department of Public Works) workers to do it.

“Hanover Grove has been a humongous asset to this park,” added Stein. “Anything we need for the park, they are there to help us.”

Stein said projects like this are exactly why she joined Fraser First to begin with.

“I joined these efforts because I want to be part of my community instead of just watching things go by,” she said. “If you want to be part of making your community better, you can donate money or time. We always welcome volunteers. After McKinley Park is done, we want to move on to making something else better. We have to be proactive to make change in the community; you can’t just make it happen.”

She went on to say that this is a good time to check out Fraser First, since the park has been its major focus since the organization began and now that work on the park is near completion, they are preparing to switch gears to decide how they next want to improve the community.

“This is our final phase of the park,” Stein said. “The zip line and sensory garden are the final major projects, and we are hoping to be done by the spring of 2022. Then we will regroup and decide what we are going to do next to improve Fraser, so this is a good time to join, since you can be part of deciding where we go from here.”

Niedojadlo believes this is a project the whole community should get behind since the park is something that is unique to Fraser and helps all of its residents in one way or another.

“We’re a small city, but we have the only barrier-free park that I know of in Macomb County,” he said. “It’s quite impressive to have this available in such a small community.”

Advertisement