Grandmother Park Receives $25,000 from Dominick's & Gears up for Panino's Fundraiser July 22
Safeway Inc., owners of Dominick’s, were on hand July 18 to present a $25,000 donation to the Grandmother Park Initiative. The initiative aims to raise money to convert the property at 1125 Dewey in Evanston into a park dedicated to toddlers and their families or caregivers. On hand were the co-founders of the Initiative Gay Riseborough and Mary Trujillo along with representatives from Dominick’s, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Alderman Peter Braithwaite (2nd Ward) and State Representative Robyn Gabel.
The donation comes from the nearly 7,000 Dominick's employees who contribute to their charitable giving program through payroll deductions or direct contributions.
Additionally, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, Panino’s Pizza on Dempster St. will be sponsoring a fund raising event for the Grandmother Park Initiative, Panino’s Percent for the Park. One percent of their sales during that time, for dine-in or take-out customers, will go directly to benefit the efforts of the initiative. There will be live music at 4 p.m. followed by a DJ after 5 p.m.
The initiative partnered with Openlands, a nonprofit metropolitan conservation organization. Openlands purchased the property, the former site of a since-demolished burned out house, and is holding the space for the group as the group’s members continue to raise money to purchase and develop the lot into a park.
Two grandmothers, Gay Riseborough and Mary Trujillo, were out walking in west Evanston one sunny, summer morning in 2009 and talking about their four year-old grandsons. They agreed that there was no place to take them to play when the little boys visited the neighborhood, that there was no place for any small children to play out-of-doors and that something ought to be done. Quickly discovering that the city had no money for parkland acquisition or development, in typical grandma fashion, the two ladies decided to do it themselves. A poster at a neighborhood block party attracted others and soon a committee was formed, non-profit status acquired and "Grandmother Park" was off and running.
by Eric Palmer