Domino's Donation

John Gayler, co-owner of Domino's in St. Clair, presents a $1,000 check to Park Board President Dana Collins-Messex. The money will was collected through the dough-raiser spearheaded by Rachel Rodman, Domino's assistant manager. The funds are earmarked for a new playground at Evergreen Park.

A total of $1,000 will be donated to the St. Clair Parks Department, thanks to Domino’s, which will go toward new play equipment at Evergreen Park.

The funds were collected through a dough-raiser that took place Thursday, Sept. 12.

The fundraiser was spearheaded by Rachel Rodman, assistant manager at Domino’s. A total of $720 was collected through the dough-raiser, however, Domino’s will be contributing $1,000, according to John Gayler, co-owner of Domino’s.

Rodman previously served as vice president of the park board for one year.

“I’ve always cared about the parks and bettering the community,” said Rodman, who grew up in St. Clair, moved away for about three years, and in February, she and her family moved back to town.

Her two sons played at the spray park over the summer and Rodman’s oldest son started having soccer practice at Evergreen twice a week. She hopes that the community will come together more often to participate in community projects.

“I feel like over the past few years while I’ve been gone, it seems like we haven’t been doing as many community projects,” said Rodman, who remembers when the Friends for Change group, an organization with the high school, raised money for a pavilion at Evergreen Park.

“It was a big thing and I just thought it was really cool that we used to do stuff like that all (of) the time,” she said.

Gayler thanked Rodman for organizing the dough-raiser.

“She is very passionate about doing good stuff for the community, we are very happy to have her,” he said.

The dough-raiser money is earmarked for new playground equipment at Evergreen Park, according to Park Board President Dana Collins-Messex. The playground will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Collins-Messex said she’s grateful to Rodman and Gayler for organizing the fundraiser.

“It takes community involvement and people like Rachel who just wanted to make a difference,” she said. “John is always great with our community and is always so giving of our community, and helpful. If people would help in whatever little way they can to help us make a difference, we can make that difference happen.”

The parks department has approximately $20,000 earmarked for a new playground, according to Collins-Messes. A grant recently was submitted to seek more funds for the project. If approved, the parks department could get another $20,000.

All-Abilities Playgrounds

Plans for an all-abilities playground at Orchard and Evergreen parks are on the back burner, according to Collins-Messex. She said the focus right now is addressing current needs of both parks.

Although the potential new playground at Evergreen will not include every aspect of an all-abilities playground, it will have ADA features and room to add more sensory components in the future.

Early this year, the parks department started a Play 4 All Campaign to help make the all-abilities playground project come to fruition. The park board is still looking to partner with a nonprofit in order to apply for grants that would go toward all-abilities playgrounds.

New swings, basketball nets and other items have been ordered to be installed at Orchard Park.

“We’ve been able to get some things going this past month to put toward the park,” said Collins-Messex, adding the parks department is taking bids for resurfacing the park’s trail.

“We’re just trying to meet some of the beautification (projects) and get some things done,” she said.