By Rikki King Herald Writer
The City Council is expected to approve the funding this week, Everett spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.
They hope to have the equipment replaced by July 4, she said.
The investigation into the May 19 arson continues. The park was re-opened a few days afterward.
Meanwhile, Ashley Barquest, a fifth-grader at nearby Garfield Elementary School, is organizing a community fundraiser to help with the park. She has placed donation jars in school classrooms and local businesses. Ashley plays at the park almost every day as she walks home from school.
Calls have been pouring in to the family home to chip in since The Herald covered Ashley’s fundraiser earlier this week, said her grandmother, Karen Barquest.
“Ashley is so excited,” Karen Barquest said Tuesday. “It seems like she really could do this. She says ‘Maybe if there’s extra, they’ll put in a picnic table if I ask them.’ There are already picnic tables there, but she thinks there could be more.”
Money raised by the Barquests will be accepted by the city and put toward the park, Reardon said.
“We appreciate Ashley’s genuine concern for her neighborhood park, and we believe this little girl’s desire to raise money to help her community is a wonderful gesture,” Reardon said.
Ashley is 11. The Barquests have opened a donation account, “Pennies For Garfield Park,” with Wells Fargo. Jars also are posted in every classroom at Garfield Elementary, Alfy’s restaurant in Marysville, Aramark Uniforms, the Frontier building on 41st Street and the McDonald’s restaurant on Broadway in north Everett. More locations are planned.
For more information about the fundraiser, call 425-252-7171.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org.