City of Lincoln  
City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

Media Release


CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
November 26, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation Dept., 441-8265
Susan Larson Rodenburg, “Lincoln Cares,” 421-1401

COMMUNITY DONATION PROGRAMS BENEFIT PARKS
“Lincoln Cares” and “Kuklin Kids” campaigns successful

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today thanked the community for donating to the “Lincoln Cares” and “Kuklin Kids” campaigns to fund improvements in the City Parks and Recreation Department.

  • “Lincoln Cares,” which allows customers of the Lincoln Electric System (LES) to voluntarily add $1 to their monthly electric bills, was launched in February. In the first nine months of operation, $68,709 was collected through the program. With matching funds provided by TierOne Bank Foundation and World’s Foremost Bank (Cabela’s VISA operation), the receipts totaled $128,709. More than 7,100 LES customers are donating to the program every month.
  • “Kuklin Kids”raised $54,000 in donations to keep Kuklin Pool at 23rd and “N” streets open and to make improvements. The effort has resulted in a 20 percent increase in attendance since 2000.

“One of the things we can all give thanks for this Thanksgiving is the generosity of this community,” said Mayor Seng. “We have many needs that can’t be met in the City budget, but through public and private partnerships, we are able to make improvements that benefit the entire community.”

“Lincoln Cares”

Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said five projects were identified for funding in the first year of “Lincoln Cares.” The program’s success means all those needs are being met. “Lincoln Cares” has provided:

  • $15,000 for air conditioning at the Ager indoor playground facility;
  • $10,000 for air conditioning at the Bethany Shelter;
  • $26,000 for the Sunken Gardens renovation project;
  • $40,000 for next spring’s restoration of the Four Wars Memorial in Antelope Park; and
  • scholarships to give young people from low-income families an opportunity to participate in Parks and Recreation programs. Scholarships allowed 90 children to participate in summer recreation day camps in 2003. Scholarships also have been available for other activities, including youth sports and before- and after-school programs.
LES customers can voluntarily donate only one dollar each month through the program. Those on electronic billing and those who wish to donate more than one dollar a month, can send tax-deductible contributions directly to the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, 2740 “A” Street, Box 201, Lincoln, NE 68502.

“Kuklin Kids”

The “Kuklin Kids” campaign began in the summer of 2001 when the neighborhood pool was faced with closure due to low attendance and the need for expensive repairs. With the leadership of former Mayor Helen Boosalis, funds were raised to keep the pool open. Parks and Recreation officials worked with residents to establish new programs, including free and reduced-fee admission, free swim wear and scholarships for Red Cross lessons.

“This year alone, 3,675 people were directly benefitted by ‘Kuklin Kids’ donations,” said Johnson. “We’ve worked hard to make the pools feel more friendly, inviting and accommodating. The Red Cross introduction to life guarding is one example. Young Middle Eastern immigrants who came from the Lighthouse program were able to participate, and all of them have expressed an interest in becoming lifeguards.”

Johnson said about $13,000 remains of the $54,000 raised in the “Kuklin Kids” campaign, and more donations would help sustain the targeted programs throughout the 2004 summer season. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to the Parks and Recreation Foundation at the address above.

For more information on “Lincoln Cares” and “Kuklin Kids,” contact the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department at 441-8264 or visit the City web site at www.lincoln.ne.gov.


Mayor's Office 2003 Media Releases