City of Lincoln
2007 Media Releases
Community donation program benefits Lincoln parks system
Mayor Coleen J. Seng announced today that the Lincoln Cares program will help fund eight projects across the community in 2007. Lincoln Cares is a community donation program which allows Lincoln Electric System (LES) customers to voluntarily add one dollar to their bill payments each month for projects not included in the City budget. For the fifth consecutive year, Lincoln Cares will receive matching funds from TierOne Bank Foundation and World’s Foremost Bank (Cabela’s VISA Operation).
Lincoln Cares will help fund the restoration of the Smoke Signal statue at Pioneers Park, Hazel Abel Park renovation, Pioneers Park Nature Center artwork, the Jamaica North Trail, Sunken Gardens pathway lighting, the Youth Outdoor Adventure Program, the Green Team Youth Employment Program, and swimming and recreation program scholarships. A complete listing of the projects is attached.
“In just four years, this program has made a huge difference in our parks system,” said Mayor Seng. “Generous donations from LES customers have allowed us to complete important projects that otherwise would have required taxpayer dollars. I also want to thank TierOne Bank Foundation and World’s Foremost Bank for essentially doubling the public’s donations since Lincoln Cares began. This is the kind of public-private partnership that makes Lincoln a better place to live.”
TierOne Bank Foundation and World’s Foremost Bank each provide a 50-cent match for every dollar contributed, up to $30,000 each. The total corporate contribution to Lincoln Cares, from February 2003 through December 31, 2006 equals $240,000.
From its inception in February 2003 through December 31, 2006, the program has collected $309,468 from LES customers adding a dollar to their bill payments and through direct donations to the Lincoln Parks Foundation. An average of 6,584 LES customers donate to the program every month. Total individual and corporate donations to Lincoln Cares have reached $549,468.
Projects funded in the first four years of the program include the Nebraska State Liberty Bell Shelter in Antelope Park; restoration of the Four Wars Memorial and Pioneer Woman sculptures; the Sunken Gardens renovation; the acquisition of prairie and grasslands at Pioneers Park; an addition to the Nature Center Prairie Building; the Park Middle School Teen Center; benches along the Holmes Lake Trail Loop; a shelter at Woods Park; air conditioning at the Ager Play Center and the Bethany Park Shelter; the Green Team Youth Employment Program; a Youth Outdoor Adventure Program; and Parker’s Pals swim and recreation program scholarships for low-income youth.
“TierOne is very proud to be one of the original sponsors of the Lincoln Cares program,” said Roger Ludemann, TierOne Bank Executive Vice President. “This will be our fifth year of involvement through the TierOne Bank Foundation, and we are strongly committed to the program’s success and its efforts to enhance our community and make Lincoln a better place to live.”
“Cabela’s World’s Foremost Bank is pleased to once again be a corporate sponsor for Lincoln Cares,” said Tom Boatman, President of World’s Foremost Bank. “The many projects and programs that have been completed would most likely not have occurred without Lincoln Cares, and the list of potential new projects that will enhance our community is truly impressive. The success of Lincoln Cares shows that Lincoln truly does care.”
“We are very thankful for everyone who supports this program,” said Lynn Johnson, Director of the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department. “With our tight budget, this program allows us to go the extra mile to keep the parks system one of the jewels of Lincoln.”
To donate to Lincoln Cares, LES customers can add one dollar to their bill payments each month. Those who pay LES through automatic bank billing can add Lincoln Cares to their payments each month by calling LES at 475-4211. Automatic bank bill customers may discontinue their voluntary contributions to Lincoln Cares at anytime by notifying LES.
For more information on Lincoln Cares, contact the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department at 441-8264 or see the City’s Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: cares).