Participants in the recent MacArthur Park 5K (May 4) raised $7,411 for the "Unleashed" project.
Sharon Priest, executive director of Downtown Little Rock Partnership (DLRP) and organizer for the race on behalf of the MacArthur Park Group, said in making the announcement, "We are pleased with the response to this year's 5K of over 300 runners. We are donating the proceeds for this year's race to a new dog park project, 'Unleashed,' on the southeast end of MacArthur Park. We have what we need to get started, but we need more to add amenities such as lights, seating, etc."
The City of Little Rock agreed to match up to $15,000 of monies raised by the dog park advocates. Added to this year's race proceeds are an anonymous $15,000 donation and $300 in "brick" donations leaving the "unLeashed" project well on its way. A minimum $30,000 was needed for the fencing and water for the park.
The dog lovers are already planning more fundraising events and currently promoting a "vote" for Little Rock in a national campaign to win dog park money through a company called Pet Safe. Click here to learn more.
A first at the 2012 MacArthur Park 5K was the opportunity to win a "Corporate Cup"--a bust of General Douglas MacArthur given to MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History by its artist, M.E. Grayson. The new "traveling" trophy was won by a team from HEAL (Clinton Foundation's Home Energy Affordability Loan program) including team members Mike Bell, Rob Guthrie, Rachel Jacobson, and Johnnie Lacaze.
The MacArthur Park 5K began in 2008 as a means to raise money for special projects complementing the Connections: MacArthur Park District Master Plan, coordinated by the MacArthur Park Group and City of Little Rock Parks & Recreation. The Master Plan has won ten awards across the country including the prestigious 2010 Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Last year's race proceeds helped pay for the new fountain on the North Lawn of the park. Enhancements to the North Lawn were completed in 2011; currently McMath Avenue is being reconstructed and a new road added to the south end of the park, Pulaski County Lane. The roads should be completed during the summer months.
"The goal of the MacArthur Park Group," said Priest, "is also to bring awareness and strengthen the link between Little Rock's Riverfront Park and MacArthur Park, the city's oldest park, for citizens and visitors alike."
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