Manor Park Campaign Meets $1 Million Goal:
May 15 Art Show to Thank the Community

by Judy Silberstein

Aart Show(March 6, 2004) After only one year of fundraising, the Manor Park Society announced it has reached its goal of raising $1 million for capital improvements and for establishing a permanent endowment for the park. Over 500 donors participated in the fund drive, providing contributions of all sizes from $5 to $50,000. The next big effort will be a May 15 art show celebrating both the success of the drive and the beauty of the park.

The impacts of the capital campaign will be immediate: this spring, new attractive perimeter fencing will replace the unsightly chain link topped with barbed wire, the west gazebo will get a face lift, and there will be repairs to the seawall that suffered erosion during this past terrible winter, reported Manor Park Trustee Rob Snedeker, a co-chairman of the fundraising group. And, "as a thank you to the community" the Manor Park Society will be holding an art show on May 15 entitled: "Manor Park - In All Seasons," said another trustee, Karin Sherman, who is organizing that event. (For details and a registration form, click here.)

"We were extremely pleased with the community's generosity, which reflects people's caring for the park," said Snedeker. Sherman is also amazed at the enthusiastic response to the art show. "We all knew Manor Park was loved, but who knew there were so many art works inspired by the park?" she commented. Already there are dozens of artists registered, of all ages and ranges, including award winning artists and photographers.

Many villagers may not realize that the popular park overlooking Long Island Sound is privately owned. Back in 1892, Larchmont's original developers transferred ownership of Manor Park, as well as nearby Fountain Square and four small traffic islands, to the Larchmont Manor Park Society. This private organization has owned, maintained and operated these properties for the benefit of the public since then. The park is open to all, but the responsibility of the private society.

The recent fundraising will support the Manor Park Society with its stewardship of the park. Half of the campaign proceeds will be dedicated to repair and replacement of major park infrastructure including seawalls, paths, park structures, replanting of specimen trees and fencing. Another $500,000 has been designated as the Manor Park Endowment - a permanent funding source for maintaining the park.

Larchmont Manor Park Society Trustees Dee Brown and Rob Snedeker co-chaired the fundraising campaign and formed a steering committee with another 17 trustees and neighbors. “This core group,” said Ms. Brown, “was the key to our success- in the planning stage which began over two years ago, in stepping forward to make pledge commitments that got the campaign off to a running start, as well as for follow through during the rest of the campaign.”

Now that the funds are collected, the group is encouraging people to take advantage of the park and of the Manor Beach and Horseshoe Harbor Yacht Club facilities. There are new sailing programs for members and non-members at the yacht club (for information, email Commodore Bob Rivituso), and a new food concession and recreational programs at the beach (email: manorbeach@aol.com).

 

 

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