Trib Local coverage:
In less than four months, the Hinsdale Paddle Tennis Association reached its goal to raise more than $150,000 for the construction of two new courts at Katherine Legge Memorial Park.
At Monday night’s Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, HPTA member and commissioner Kathleen Mulligan said the group reached 102 percent of its fundraising goal by selling 59 lifetime memberships, 22 one-year memberships and about $10,000 to $15,000 worth of landscaping donations.
According to HPTA’s website, the total funds raised is about $153,000.
Mulligan said the donations are currently all pledges, but the HPTA is sending out letters this week to collect the funds. If all goes as planned, she said, the courts should be ready for play this fall.
In light of HPTA’s recent success, commissioner Ed Opler discussed the potential of private fundraising for village projects that remain unfunded.
“It seems like this could be a model for the future,” Opler said. “We ought to be allowing people to undertake those (fundraisers) with guidelines. There’s nothing new coming to our budget.”
Parks and Recreation Director Gina Hassett said, although she was in support of looking into the idea of private fundraising, platform tennis might be a unique situation with a seriously committed and growing following.
Mulligan said HPTA currently has more than 600 members.
Chairman Jeff Curran mentioned local park-using groups, such as the Hinsdale Central Frisbee golf team, often e-mail him offering input on potential upcoming park projects.
Commissioner Scott Banke, whose son helped spearhead efforts to maintain Hinsdale’s skate park, said groups such as the Frisbee golf team and local skaters could benefit from the idea of allowing private fundraising as well.
“I think it’s great —we can reach out to the community to become ambassadors,” Banke said. “Clearly (HPTA) set a precedence set here. I’m hoping the village is encouraged by that.”
Trustee Doug Geoga, who sat in on the meeting as a member of the audience, said the village is happy with its relationship with the HPTA and would likely encourage partnerships.
Geoga said the item would be added to the next Administration and Community Affairs agenda.