Edwardsville Couple Makes $50,000 Donation to Leon Corlew Park in Edwardsville: Park Closes its Second Season

With thousands of visitors enjoying the Leon Corlew Park and splash pad this summer, the City of Edwardsville announced the park has officially closed for the season on Sept. 26, 2017 and that a new donation has been made to support the park and the “A Better Place to Play Campaign”. The “A Better Place to Play” campaign was launched to raise funds to develop three new parks in Edwardsville, including Leon Corlew Park.

Life-long residents, Mark and Sally Speciale, have pledged a donation of $50,000 to help fund the construction of the new family pavilion at the park. The Speciale’s have been long-time supporters of various local organizations that have worked to make the Edwardsville community what it is today, including the Edwardsville Community Foundation. The Speciale’s donation will provide families enjoying the splash pad, playground and walking trail another shade shelter they can flock to as a relief from the sun’s rays when the park opens back up next Memorial Day.

In making the donation, Mark Speciale said, “It is good to know that the Leon Corlew Splash Park will soon have an additional pavilion for all citizens to use and enjoy.

Sally and I have lived in the Edwardsville area all our lives. It is a great community because of its citizens, organizations and leaders. People in this community are willing to give their time, talents and dollars to make it even better. Our entire family is proud to be able to do our part." The pledge of $50,000 was made by the Speciale’s in honor of their grandson Nick Ursch.

Leon Corlew Park offers visitors a splash pad and playground at the intersection of South Main and Schwarz Street. It also includes a walking/fitness track, shade structures, pavilions, seasonal concession stand and restrooms/changing rooms.

“We are so grateful to the Speciale’s for their contribution to Leon Corlew Park. The park has been overwhelmingly successful since opening in 2016 and we have seen countless numbers of happy faces on youngsters and parents alike,” said Bob Pfeiffer, director of Edwardsville Parks and Recreation. “It’s been really wonderful to see this project take shape and add to the summer fun of so many families. We look forward to opening the park again in 2018 with a brand new pavilion for all to share.“

Leon Corlew Park is one of the three parks included in the City of Edwardsville’s fundraising effort – A Better Place to Play. The campaign is aimed at raising funds for three new parks in Edwardsville. The other two parks in development include Plummer Family Park, a Sports Park for baseball, softball, soccer, pickleball and more near the I-55 corridor and an Ice Rink & Teen Center to be located on District #7 grounds off of Governor’s Parkway. Sponsorship and donations are also needed to help fund these parks so construction can begin.

Several grants were awarded for the construction of Leon Corlew Park including a $300,000 grant from Metro East Parks and Recreation District, a $400,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) and two additional Madison County Park Enhancement Program (PEP) grants totaling $266,310 were also awarded.

Other sponsors of the Leon Corlew Park, include: Gordon and Holly Broom ($50,000); Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon ($40,000); Edwardsville Rotary Club ($30,000); First Clover Leaf Bank ($10,000) and Global Brew Tap House ($8,000).

For more information about sponsorship opportunities for Leon Corlew Park visit http://www.betterplacetoplay.com or call Katie Grable at (618) 692-7538.

To make a donation to the A Better Place to Play Campaign, area residents and potential sponsors are encouraged to donate online at http://www.betterplacetoplay.com or by contacting Edwardsville Community Foundation at http://www.edwardsvillecommunityfoundation.org/. All donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law through the foundation.

For more information on major gifts, please contact Edwardsville Community Foundation at (855) 464-3223. Donations may be mailed to Edwardsville Community Foundation to P.O. Box 102, Edwardsville, IL 62025. Please make a notation on your check that the funds are to be applied to the “A Better Place to Play” campaign. If you wish to support a specific parks project, please also notate the designated park with your donation.

Those interested in learning more about the “A Better Place to Play” campaign can find information online at www.betterplacetoplay.com or call (618) 692-7538. “A Better Place to Play” can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abetterplacetoplay and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BP2Play.

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