Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Fulfilling the Challenge: As Association United Soars to New Heights

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Fulfilling the Challenge: As Association United Soars to New Heights

Article excerpt

In an unprecedented fundraising effort the National Recreation and Park Association has raised over $1.5 million in gifts and pledges (as of February 11) in its Fulfilling the Challenge campaign. The Association rose to the occasion when Iowa businessman Claude Ahrens pledged to donate $1 million if NRPA would generate a matching amount. The funds will be used in the construction of a progressive institute designed to advance recreation and parks into the 21st Century and beyond.

Without hesitation, NRPA accepted the Ahrens challenge--possibly the Association's most extensive undertaking. The Association has reached its initial goal. Officially named Fulfilling the Challenge, the campaign surpassed the million dollar mark well ahead of the December 31, 1994 deadline established by Mr. Ahrens and has been so successful that the Campaign Committee has increased their overall goal to $1.75 million.

Characterizing recreation and parks' far-reaching impact, over 240 leadership pledges--ranging from $1,500 to $350,000--have come in from corporations ($686,000), park professionals ($345,000), citizens ($241,000), and foundations ($100,000). Associations in 41 states have pledged over $162,000 toward the new institute's "Hall of States."

Hitting the ground running and reaching the initial goal has created a cohesion throughout the NRPA leadership and among the members. "In the Ahrens drive, NRPA has tackled a huge project and is making a great success of it," said Board member and Committeeman Earl Groves of Gastonia, North Carolina. The campaign has pulled us together as never before. It is a tremendous step in propelling NRPA and the recreation and park movement to the top of the hill as we enter the 21st Century."

The excitement of the campaign's momentum was felt by all in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over $350,000 in pledges came in during NRPA's 1994 Congress for Recreation and Parks held there last October. Galvanized by the excitement, hundreds of members made their own personal commitments.

Even after the October Congress, parks and recreation professionals, advocates, and suppliers continue to pledge their support. Committed to maintaining the campaign's momentum, committee leaders continue their fundraising efforts.

"We are thrilled with the results of the campaign to date and thank each of the 500 NRPA members and suppliers who have made pledges so far," says Campaign Chair Anne Close of Ft. …

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