Hit the green for a great cause!
The Wilmette Park District launches its renovated 18-hole golf course and revitalized, historically named Ouilmette Foundation with the 1st To Play golf outing fundraiser on July 11.
Proceeds from the event benefit a fund that allows financially strapped Wilmette families to use Park District programs. The event also will stimulate public conversation about foundation opportunities.
This is a win-win-win for Wilmette taxpayers and the broader community.
The improved golf course will draw more players and generate more income, as well as improve storm-water conditions. The foundation will create more opportunities to educate, enhance and enrich the community with no additional tax burden to property owners. Greater public good can be accomplished by the collaborative and innovative ideas percolating around the foundation.
Ouilmette Foundation for the Parks Chairman Tom Nathan explains, “The foundation was created in 1983 to renovate the Wallace Bowl amphitheater in Gillson Park. The Wilmette Park District revitalized it this year, charging it with the mission to educate, enhance and enrich the parks and community life.”
The July 11 event specifically funds the Wilmette Park District Family Scholarship Fund, which allows local families to participate in programs they would not otherwise be able to afford. But Nathan sees substantial opportunity for the foundation to accomplish more—from renovating other park district treasures, like the Keay Nature Center, to fostering intergovernmental programs like a potential partnership between the park, school and water districts to use the water purification and park facilities to improve environmental education.
“The foundation also is actively seeking ideas from community members which will facilitate our 3 E’s: educate, enhance and enrich,” Nathan says. Ideas can be sent to [email protected]
Park District Director Steve Wilson is delighted to unveil and discuss the course renovations. Although the focus of the project was improving storm-water control, substantial improvements were made which also make the course more desirable to average golfers and more challenging to better players. The course will open to the public July 12. Foundation Treasurer and North Shore Community Bank President Cathy Pratt encourages all to support 1st To Play, knowing that “each foursome will support an average family using the Scholarship Fund for one year.”
According to Nathan, an additional reason to support the event or learn more about the revitalized foundation is that “while schools are the primary reason that people move to Wilmette, after living here, they identify the Park District as the second most important contribution to Wilmette’s quality of life.” Great park programs ensure strong property values.