To the Editor:

The March 28 Keizertimes article on the Big Toy may have left readers with a mistaken understanding of how the Keizer Parks Foundation accepts donations and grants. Fortunately, we have had the opportunity to clarify this with the Keizer Rotary Foundation and welcome the opportunity to explain it to a wider audience:

The Keizer Parks Foundation does (and will) accept donations with conditions, such as the location of the Big Toy playground. In fact, all the grants we have received and most of the donations have specific conditions that include project, location, and sometimes timeline. We honor all the conditions. The donated funds remain restricted until the conditions are met or the funds are returned. In the very few cases where we were not able to meet the conditions (specifically, for tennis courts) we go back to the donors and ask them whether they prefer to have the donation returned, redirected, or in this case, if they want to change the conditions.

In the case of the Rotary Foundation grant, as with others, we will pass the funds along to the city only when the conditions of the grant are met.

Keizer Parks Foundation’s mission is to promote and provide financial support for enhancements to the public spaces, park facilities, and recreation programs in Keizer.  We encourage community donations, solicit grants, conduct fundraisers (like our recently successful Pinot for the Parks event), mobilize volunteers, and create partnerships to improve the outdoor recreational opportunities for children and adults.

We rely on the Keizer Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the Parks and Recreation Citizen Advisory Committee, and elected officials on city council to engage the community in public discussions about community priorities and policy. We see ourselves as helping donors and volunteers bring to fruition what this democratic public process hashes out.

Jeanne Bond-Esser

Bond-Esser is treasurer of the Keizer Parks Foundation.