By Dave Ongie, News Editor
Just before Christmas, the fundraising committee of the Johnson City Sesquicentennial Committee went public with its efforts aimed at completing a legacy project before the end of the year. The project – which is estimated to cost around $2 million – will include a Legacy Circle and a Nature Adventure Area, which will be located between King Commons and the Johnson City Public Library.
At the time, Donna Noland announced that $585,000 had been raised during an eight-week silent phase of fundraising that ended in December. That money, coupled with $1 million earmarked for the project by the City Commission, gave the committee a reasonable chance of raising the funds prior to a March 28 deadline suggested by Johnson City Public Works Director Phil Pindzola.
Nearly three months later, Noland said the committee was closing in on its fundraising goal, but will need the support of the community in order to meet it by a crucial April 4 meeting of the Board of Commissioners.
“We have definitely been under pressure to meet this goal that we feel like is definitely attainable,” Noland said on Monday. “I do feel like we are able to meet the requirements that we have promised our city and our City Commission that we can meet in order to make this project happen.”
While the project aims to add another vibrant gathering area to a downtown that now includes Founder’s Park and King Commons, Noland said the history contained in Legacy Circle will make this project unique. Those wishing to have their name, the name of a business or the name of a loved one memorialized in the park have plenty of options to do so. The “Early Pioneer” level of sponsorship starts at $1,500.
But when it comes to pushing the project over the finish line, Noland said every dollar will make a difference.
“No contribution is too small to make this event or this project happen,” she said.
For more information on how to donate, donor tiers and opportunities for naming rights, visit www.jctn150.com and click on the Legacy Project Information tab.