Mayfair groups to hold March 29 fundraiser for proposed park
by KEVIN GROSS
The Mayfair Civic Association and the Mayfair Park Advisory Council are raising funds to purchase a vacant triangular parcel at 4546 N. Kedvale Ave. to turn it into a community playlot.
The 12,500-square-foot parcel is bordered by Kedvale Avenue, Kasson Avenue and Wilson Avenue. Mayfair Civic Association president Ron Duplack said that a purchase contract is set to end by the end of May "so we want to have the money in hand before then. " The goal is to raise $25,000 and the group has raised about 20 percent of that goal since fund-raising efforts began, Duplack said. As of March 27, the group has raised $2,945 on its gofundme Web page at www. gofundme.com/transformthetriangle.
The group will hold a fund-raiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at Marie’s Pizza and Liquors, 4127 W. Lawrence Ave. Tickets cost $25 per person.
Supporters of the community playlot say that Mayfair’s approximately 1,000 children are underserved by parks, with the only area green spaces located at Spikings Farm Park, 4706 N. Pulaski Road, or three-quarters of a mile away from the Kedvale lot at Mayfair Park, 4550 W. Sunnyside Ave.
The new triangular park would be about twice the size of Spikings Farm Park and would prevent some children from hazardously crossing Elston Avenue to reach Mayfair Park.
Mayfair Park Advisory Council vice president Jon Litwin said that the conservation non-profit organization Openlands and Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th) were brought in to help with the project, and that the council would likely be placed in charge of programming events such as movie nights if the park is built.
If the $25,000 goal is met, the project would receive a match-grant of the same amount to contribute towards the lot purchase. Duplack said he could not disclose the grantor’s identity until the match goal was reached, although he described it as a "private family foundation."
Organizers have acquired some donations from area families and individuals via door-to-door fund-raising, but organizers plan on soliciting more support from larger donors and the business community.
"Most businesses are very supportive, they allow us to put up signs," Duplack said. "We’ve got a couple donations from businesses so far too, but we could always use more large donors."
In other news, Litwin said that the council recently received a $50,000 grant from the Chicago Cubs charities’ "Diamond Project" to benefit community baseball facilities and programs. Grant funds will be utilized to resurface the two baseball fields in Mayfair Park, with work expected to begin in September to avoid the most disruption of spring and summer baseball activities.
"The east field, every time it rains all the water pulls off the infield dirt and it runs down the street," Litwin said. "The west field is the opposite. It floods and around the pitchers mound it becomes a mud pit."
He said that Mayfair Park was one of 12 applicants from last year that were awarded funds. Since field resurfacing may not cost all of the $50,000, the advisory council and the Chicago Parks District may research what else could be funded with the remainder of the grant, such as enclosures for the exposed dugouts and bleachers to protect people from foul balls.