With its eyes set on a recreation center to call their own, members of the Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Association have been focused on fundraising all year.
On Tuesday, LWSRA got a big boost toward the goal, receiving a $50,000 check from the Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Foundation.
The association serves about 250 people with special needs from the , Manhattan, , New Lenox and Peotone park districts. Last year, it received a $2.5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for a 24,000-square-foot building in the Heather Glen subdivision off Laraway Road.
Without a building of its own, the Special Recreation Association currently uses various spots in the area for its programs and practices, such as . But space is tight and not always guaranteed.
"It's just an outstanding opportunity to provide more recreation space for the community and maybe even allow for more members and programs now," recreation superintendent Keith Wallace said in a previous article.
The building would include a wheelchair-friendly gym and classrooms, a teaching kitchen and other accessible features.
The cost of the project is about $4.5 million, and with the $2.5 million grant and an additional $1 million saved, the association has been organizing fundraiser events throughout the year to help make up the difference. You can also submit donations directly through this website. Coming up this weekend, there's a motorcycle run to benefit veterans, a golf outing and more.
The $50,000 donation certainly helps as bids begin going out for concrete and asphalt. During the LWSRA board meeting Tuesday, members got an update on the progress of the building. Foundation president Mark Costigan said they're planning a naming rights campaign to help bring in more money.
"You've done a lot in a short amount of time," New Lenox Parks Director Greg Lewis said to the foundation. "What you've done is phenomenal."
The tentative timeline for the project is to break ground by the end of this summer and complete the building by December 2014.