HOLMES BEACH – A last-minute funding scare caused city leaders and staff to leap into action along with community members.
Holmes Beach Mayor Judy Titsworth said that though funds had been promised to help fund the bowl for the new city skate park, when it came time to tell the team from Pivot Custom, a division of American Ramp Company, whether or not the city would be commissioning the bowl, she discovered that only $28,000 of the $100,000 was available.
With only three days to raise the remaining $72,000, Titsworth, Police Chief Bill Tokajer, Code Compliance Officer James Thomas and resident David Zaccagnino took to the phones and social media to help raise the money for the bowl.
Local residents and contractors stepped up to donate funds, supplies and construction materials equaling enough funds to have Pivot build the bowl addition to the skate park, designed by Tito Porrata and his team. Construction to remove the bocce ball, shuffleboard and old tot lot and build the new promenade-style skate park with a Y-shaped, four-foot-deep bowl is already underway along Marina Drive at the city field.
“It was amazing to be a part of that team, to find that money and get it done,” Titsworth said of the fundraising effort during a Nov. 13 Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials meeting. “It was amazing the generosity of the citizens this time of year. I mean, it was beautiful.”
She added that additional funds of $30,000 also had been raised to purchase new playground equipment for the tot lot, planned to be relocated near the pavilion at city field. Landscaping also was donated for the city’s new dog park.
As a thank you to the residents and business owners who stepped up to donate to the bowl, Sean Murphy donated a $250 gift card to Beach Bistro and former commissioner Rick Hurst donated a $250 gift card to The Freckled Fin to be given to two of the donors in a drawing.
The dog park is planned to open in December with the skate park opening in January or February followed by the opening of the tot lot and multi-use field.