EDISON PARK — Construction designed to transform the playlot at Edison Park's namesake park into a shrine to the Chicago Blackhawks and honor native son and CEO John McDonough is underway, Edison Park Chamber of Commerce officials said.
Chamber officials have been working for years to turn the rotted, rusted, drab and dangerous playlot in the heart of the neighborhood's business district into a one-of-a-kind playground and honor McDonough, an Edison Park native.
In April, officials announced the Chicago Plays program would contribute $125,000 in new equipment to the playlot and launched a $100,000 fundraising effort to turn it into a shrine to the Stanley Cup champions. The fundraising goal was later increased to $150,000 without explanation.
In September, Edison Park Chamber of Commerce director Melissa McIntrye asked chamber members and residents in an email for help, after raising just $30,000 in five months.
McIntyre did not return an email message Tuesday about the fundraising effort, which has been roundly criticized on Facebook by some Edison Park residents who wrote that they were unwilling to contribute to the playground while the Chicago City Council considers imposing a massive property tax increase.
Other suggested that the Blackhawks should foot the bill for the "enhanced playground" at 6755 N. Northwest Hwy., where the main play structure will feature the team's famous Indian head logo with hockey-themed entrances.
The playground would also feature a swing set and a triangle-climbing bridge, according to the plans.
In an effort to jump start the fundraising effort, the chamber is selling $50 tickets for a chance to win a 50/50 raffle that could have a grand prize of $50,000, officials said.
The drawing will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Emerald Isle, 6686 N. Northwest Hwy., organizers said.
Tickets are available online as well as from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the chamber office, 6730 N. Olmsted Ave., at Romance in Blooms, 6729 N. Northwest Hwy.; Le Nuvo Salon and Spa, 6724 N. Northwest Hwy.; and the offices of Dr. Michael Acierno, 6749 N. Oshkosh Ave.
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