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September 17, 2013 | 02:52 PMFONTANA — "The pirate ship is paid for. We're glad for that."
Village Administrator Kelly Hayden said the village's sixth annual Pig in the Park fundraiser raised enough for the final payment.
The village's largest fundraiser had a really good year, Hayden said.
"(The event) grossed around $17,000, and expenses ran around $6,000, so the net impact was just over $11,000," Hayden said.
Six years ago, the village park commission borrowed money from the village's general fund to pay for the pirate ship and resurfacing material in the playground at Reid Park.
The Pig in the Park event was started to pay off that debt. It's part fun things for kids with a petting zoo, pony rides and face painting and part a way to end the summer.
The event is always held on Labor Day weekend, and families can have one more free day with their kids, Hayden said.
The main focus at the fundraiser is the pig roast, but organizers also schedule bands throughout the day. The weather worked in the village's favor this year, and they raised the second highest amount for the single-day event.
According to numbers provided by Hayden, the event raised a record $14,917 last year.
"(There is) no way to get an accurate account (of people at the event), but we estimate approximately 350 kids and probably 700 adults, based on wristband and ticket sales," Hayden said.
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In 2011, turnout was low because of rain, and the village raised less than $1,000.
"I know that when we started the Pig (fundraiser) we were hopeful that in 10 years the debt would be paid off," Hayden said. "Thanks to everyone that has enjoyed the event and has given so generously, we have reached our goal after six years."
The event will continue in future years under the direction of Dan Green's Touch a Life, Heal a Heart Foundation. One-third of future money made at the fundraiser will be given to the park commission.
Hayden said the debt for the pirate ship will be officially paid when the foundation presents the last check at the Oct. 7 village board meeting.