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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
July 10, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation Dept., 441-8265
Susan Larson Rodenburg, Lincoln Cares , 421-1401

“LINCOLN CARES” COOLS PLAYGROUND AND BETHANY SHELTER
Scholarships also funded through voluntary donation program

Mayor Coleen Seng announced today that families can now visit the Ager Indoor Playground in Antelope Park and the Bethany Park enclosed shelter in cool comfort thanks to “Lincoln Cares.” The voluntary donation program which began in February has funded new air conditioning systems for both facilities. “Lincoln Cares” allows customers of the Lincoln Electric System to add $1 to their monthly bills for City improvements.

“These are the first projects funded by ‘Lincoln Cares’ in our community,” said Mayor Seng. “We are very excited that our citizens are embracing this voluntary donation program as a way to do something extra for our City. The improvements funded by ‘Lincoln Cares’ will benefit many of our residents and will further enhance our quality of life.”

LES officials say about 7,000 customers per month are voluntarily donating to the program. In the first five months of operation, $36,300 was collected through the dollar donation on electric bills. With matching funds provided by TierOne Bank and World’s Foremost Bank (Cabela’s VISA operation), the total receipts were more than $72,000.

“Lincoln Electric System is pleased to be a partner in the ‘Lincoln Cares’ program, but the real credit for the success goes to the companies providing matching funds and the thousands of citizens who are supporting this important effort,” said LES Administrator and CEO Terry Bundy. “We hope that seeing the results of these first projects will encourage more citizens to contribute to the program.”

The air conditioning at the indoor playground cost $15,000. City Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said Pepsi of Lincoln donated another $10,000 to replace the old gas-fired furnaces at the playground with heat pumps, which will save on heating and cooling costs. The air conditioning at the Bethany Park shelter cost $10,000 and will make the building more usable for summer day camp activities and for public rentals. “Lincoln Cares” is also providing scholarships to give young people from low-income families an opportunity to participate in Parks and Recreation programs, such as the summer recreation program at Trago Park.

Other projects selected to benefit from ‘Lincoln Cares’ donations in 2003 include restoration of the Sunken Gardens at 27th and Capitol Parkway and renovation of the Four Wars Memorial in Antelope Park.

The dollar is added to the LES bill ONLY if the customer pays the amount listed in the box identified as “total including ‘Lincoln Cares’ donation.” LES customers who wish to donate more than $1 a month and those who pay through the automatic withdrawal system can send checks directly to “Lincoln Cares,” Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, 2740 “A” Street, Box 201, Lincoln, NE 68502. Donations are tax deductible.

For more information on “Lincoln Cares,” contact the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department at 441-8264 or visit the City web site at www.lincoln.ne.gov.

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