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Zwick’s swings more financial support for play structure

preliminary artist rendering [1]

A preliminary artist’s rendering of the new fully accessible play structure at Zwick’s Park. The previous park structure was closed and dismantled in August. The new structure will be open in 2015. The rendering does not reflect park placement, tree placement or seating areas. Photo provided by Jim Zimmerman, director of enviromental and operational services for the city of Belleville.

By Candice-Rose Gagnon [2]

Some of the $122,200 raised at the Medigas Celebrity Classic [3] golf tournament this year will go right back into the very first playground area the event raised money for in the early 1990s.

This year’s event has contributed $50,000 to the city of Belleville to support the replacement of the accessible play structure at Zwick’s Park, says Medigas Celebrity Classic committee member Matt Hamilton.

“It was important to us that the Rick Meagher/Medigas Rotary Play Park name live on,” Hamilton said, referring to the name the structure was given when the Celebrity Classic first gave money for the project in 1992.

This year city council approved spending $300,000 to replace the play structure at Zwick’s. The $50,000 that the Celebrity Classic donated this month has enabled the city to improve the equipment and to add more, said Jim Zimmerman, director of environmental and operational services for the city.

Medigas Celebrity Classic organizers celebrate this years fund-raising efforts at the Trillium Wood Golf Course in July of this year. Funds raised from the event supports children with physical disabilities, and community projects like the repair costs to the accesible part at Zwicks.  Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon [4]

Medigas Celebrity Classic organizers celebrate this year’s fundraising efforts at the Trillium Wood Golf Course in July. Funds raised from the event support children with physical disabilities and community projects like the repair costs to the accessible play structure at Zwick’s. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon

“I think it is vital to the community,” Zimmerman said. “The support is vital. We need to look at parks as a community development for financial support.”

The annual event funded the equipment at Zwick’s, Belleville’s first accessible park, and later helped fund similar equipment at Riverside Park.

Hamilton said it is important to continue supporting community efforts financially  through the annual event. Zwick’s “was the first endeavour of the Celebrity Classic, and one of the first fully accessible parks in the area.”

Zimmerman said there are many popular elements in the old play structure that have been refreshed for the new structure, such as the zip lines.

The accessible equipment is slated to open in the spring or summer of 2015, depending on the weather conditions this winter. The foundation for the structures has already been poured and the structures will be in place this winter. Final touches on the landscaping and more seating will come in the spring, Zimmerman said.

The Celebrity Classic supports children with physical challenges along with a scholarship program for area students pursuing careers in the medical field.