As an active participant in the protection and development of our city parks, I come in contact with many people, retailers and companies who continually say "yes" when asked for their support.
They understand the value that our parks offer and the reality that it takes a community to maintain them in a way that benefits the broadest selection of residents possible.
Along with these community-minded people, the many volunteers who put in hundreds of hours to support our parks must also be recognized and applauded for their efforts.
The value of volunteering in Alameda seems to be understood by many. People volunteer for an endless variety of reasons. Many people want to gain new experiences, acquire new skills, meet new people or expand their network of contacts as a way to get a new job or start a career. Others just want to give back to their community, help a friend or promote a worthwhile activity. They do it because they feel better. In fact, the tag line for our park system is "Parks Make Life Better." You feel better while walking through our parks, while sitting at a bench observing birds and/or children playing, playing softball or basketball, enjoying a family picnic or just relaxing on the lawn. No matter what the experience is, it is supported by a highly competent park staff and by capable volunteers.
Alameda is blessed with solid support for our parks by our city manager and his staff, by the mayor and City Council members, by the Alameda police and fire departments and by the Alameda school board. Many of them grew up in our parks and/or watched their children grow up in the parks. They have a high level of appreciation for the parks and the many recreation programs provided.
The Friends of the Parks Foundation is an excellent example of strong volunteering support for our parks. This not-for-profit organization supports the parks through sponsorships and involvement in numerous programs throughout Alameda. Ninety-eight percent of all donations to the foundation go toward park programs and park equipment for use by children, teens, adults and seniors.
The free "Starlight Movies in the Park" are sponsored by the Friends of the Parks Foundation. The outdoor exercise equipment in Lincoln and Washington parks was paid for by the Friends of the Parks Foundation. These are just two examples of the many items the foundation has contributed to the betterment of our parks and our residents.
The Friends of the Parks Foundation is holding its second annual "Play for the Parks" golf tournament this year at 1 p.m. Sept. 15. The tournament is about having a good time and not so much about getting the lowest score.
The event attracts more than 100 golfers and additional attendees to the post-tournament dinner at Lincoln Park. There is also a silent auction with many wonderful items to bid on. For example, Alameda Bicycle is donating a new bike and helmet to the cause. Various restaurants are engaged with gift certificates, including La Penca Azul, Asena, Trabocco, Feel Good Kitchen and others. There will be a duck hunting trip package, a cabin in the mountains, items from Encinal Hardware and Golf Works and a fabulous gift basket from Alameda Theater. There will also be items donated by the San Jose Sharks, the Oakland A's and many more items.
If you play golf at any level, and you want to support our parks, this is the one tournament you won't want to miss. It will be held at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex North Course. The cost is $85 per player, which includes golf, electric cart and dinner. A bucket of balls is free as well, thanks to Greenway Golf and John Vest, the general manager at the Corica golf complex.
Visit www.alamedaparks.org to view information and to register for this event. This tournament could not have happened without the volunteers and community-minded people who support our parks. Thank you to all of you.
Bill Delaney is a board member of the Friends of the Parks Foundation and the Alameda Recreation and Park Commission. If you have any questions or comments, please send Delaney a message via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.