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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Parks foundation names grant recipients

More than $100,000 was raised in the last year

The Spokane Parks Foundation has announced its 2013 grant recipients.

The foundation raised $104,987 last year and is giving $7,275 to improvements at the entrance to Comstock Park, $1,000 to Valleyfest and $4,000 to Northeast Youth Center’s summer camp, just to mention some of the 11 recipients.

Spokane County is receiving $5,000 and the city of Spokane is receiving $4,800 to fund swimming lessons.

The parks foundation money for swim lessons is in addition to monies raised by Make-A-Splash, which supplies free pool passes and now, after a merger with the Save Our Summer program, provides swimsuits to low-income children.

Heather Beebe-Stevens, parks foundation executive director, said, “The free swimsuits are a big deal because health regulations say you have to wear (a swimsuit) to go swimming in a public pool.”

Make-A-Splash was started when Spokane began charging children for access to city pools.

In 2012, Make-A-Splash raised $37,813.50, which was enough money for 3,491 pool passes and more than 2,000 swimsuits.

Make-A-Splash is hoping to raise $40,000 this year.

The Parks Foundation has been around for six decades, during which time it’s raised more than $2 million for parks improvements and activities, including $36,000 toward the creation of the Japanese Garden, $10,000 toward the Spokane Garry Monument and $140,000 toward restoration of the Comstock Pool.

“Anyone can apply for a grant with us as long as it is park related or goes toward a program in a parks and recreation facility,” Beebe-Stevens said.