The long road to creating a pocket park on Main Street just got a lot shorter, thanks to the generosity of one local business.
For its third annual open house celebration, Burris Construction will host a fundraiser on May 14 to benefit the construction of Percheron Park at the corner of Main and High streets.
, the Friends of Percheron Park—a non-profit, 501(c)3 formed to manage fundraising and construction—had their work cut out for them.
To have the backing of one of Moorestown's most prominent businesses, "it's everything," said committee member Julie Maravich. "We're so, so grateful."
Without Burris' commitment, the fundraising campaign likely would have been "ongoing," with the park "getting done in stages," Maravich said.
Now—with Burris not only pledging all of its fundraising dollars to the project, but also offering to build the park at cost—"it really affords us the opportunity to begin construction as early as this summer."
The Burris fundraiser aids a different charity each year. Last year the company raised $87,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, according to CEO William Burris, who said this year they were looking to support a local cause.
"You've got an eyesore on Main Street," he said, referring to the empty lot where Ward's Automotive once stood. "I'm looking forward to (the park). It's a nice way to spruce up the center of town."
Burris is no stranger to charitable contributions, particularly those with a connection to Moorestown history. Just last fall, he and his wife donated $5,000 to help get the Swede Run Barn restoration back on track. He's also contributed to the Moorestown Historical Society in the past, and has pledged to make improvements to the historic Victorian home—former home of Century 21, present home of Long & Foster Realtors—directly across from the Percheron Park site.
So far, the Friends of Percheron Park has raised approximately $30,000 on its own, much of it coming in the form of fairly large contributions from local families and organizations (see list below).
If they're able to continue raising money and Burris' fundraiser is as successful as they hope, construction on the park could begin as early as this summer, according to Maravich.
Of course, such a timeline depends on the successful remediation of the site. But Maravich said they're "pretty confident" it will be cleared for construction by the summer.
The Burris open house will be held from 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, outside the company's offices at 8 E. Main St., Moorestown. Tickets are $50, which includes a "ballpark banquet" of wine, beer, a pig roast and hot dogs. You can also watch the Phillies vs. Indians game and buy a $100 raffle ticket to win a 2013 Fiat. (See the attached flier for more information.)
To purchase tickets, contact Kim Jordan at 856-439-6666 or Julie Maravich at 856-266-7607.
The following organizations and individuals have contributed to the park:
- STEM (Save The Environment of Moorestown) — $6,600 (historical marker)
- Dubrow Foundation — $5,000 (bench)
- Lori Clark — $5,000 (bench)
- Walter Schweikert — $5,000 (bench)
- Margo and Baird Foster — $7,000 (statue)
- Ann Condon — $1,000 (large stone impression)
- Dr. Donna Graziano-Wilcox — $500 (medium impression)
- Ann and Mark Baiada — $500 (medium impression)
- Glenn and Molly Henkel/Kirkpatrick — $500 (medium impression)
- Taitco — $500 (medium impression)
Maravich said there have also been 17 donations at the $250 level, and every member of the Friends of Percheron Park put in generous seed money.
To find out more about the Friends of Percheron Park and their plans, visit their website.
To read more of Moorestown Patch's coverage of the Percheron Park project, visit our topic page.