The Jaycees All-Abilities Park is progressing as expected, said Danielle Grotewiel, Washington Jaycees president.

“We’re feeling very encouraged by the generosity of the community when it comes to raising funds for the park,” she said.

People from all over Franklin County have donated to the park.

“We’ve had individuals donate, and companies donate and sponsor a piece of equipment,” she said. “Kids also have donated money from lemonade stands.”

Recently, an individual requested people bring a donation for the park for their son’s first birthday, rather than a gift, Grotewiel said.

Families also have listed the park as a memorial for their loved ones who have passed away, she said.

“It’s pretty inspirational,” she said. “This project is something that the community, not just Washington, but Franklin County, can get behind and everyone can believe in.”

Grotewiel said she’s excited for the park to be finished, but said there may be some confusion about the timeline on the project.

Dirt from the site was needed to begin the main stage project at the fairgrounds.. When the initial site excavation happened, it wasn’t the beginning of the project, she explained.

“The timeline we’re on right now is the expected timeline,” she said, “except for the snow and rain that has hampered our progress lately.”

Once the site is leveled, everything else should progress pretty quickly from that point, Grotewiel said.

The city is taking care of site work, including building a retaining wall. Once that work is completed, the city will go out to bid for the construction items and again for equipment.

“The city and the parks department are dedicated to getting it done as fast as they can,” Grotewiel said.

The Washington Jaycees are committed to raising $250,000, which covers the cost of the equipment. Over the last year and a half, about $125,000 has been raised.

Upcoming Events

There are several upcoming events that will benefit the park.

A bike-a-thon, organized by five local girls, will be held Saturday, May 11.

This is the third year for the bike-a-thon, which has raised more than $12,000 since it began.

The girls’ goal is to sponsor the centerpiece of the park, a climbing rock with a price tag of more than $15,000.

The annual demolition derby, which has been held for around 50 years, will be held Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the Washington Fairgrounds with all proceeds going toward the park.

New this year will be the “mini monster kids,” a new group with children ages 7 to 17 who drive miniature monster trucks.

The major sponsor of the derby is Barreth Chrysler Center, Washington.

“Because they’ve given us this sponsorship, all of the profit we make that night will go toward the park,” Grotewiel said.

The goal is to beat the best year the derby has ever had, by raising more than $12,000.

No pets, coolers, outside food or beverages will be allowed. Beer, soda and food will be provided by the Washington Jaycees BB Gun team.

Another fund-raiser for the park will be a dual truck run with the Mid-Missouri Off-Roaders scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, at the fairgrounds.

Tickets for the derby and mud run can be purchased at the Downtown Washington post office.