Gordon and Holly Broom of Edwardsville stand in front of the new Leon Corlew Park in Edwardsville.
EDWARDSVILLE — Gordon and Holly Broom of Edwardsville have pledged $50,000 to construct the new family pavilion at Leon Corlew Park.
The couple have lived in Edwardsville since 1971 and are longtime supporters of local civic organizations. Gordon Broom is a senior partner at Hepler Broom LLC.
“Holly and I are delighted to make a contribution to help build the Leon Corlew Park,” Gordon Broom said. “We are especially pleased that the city has chosen to name this park after Leon Corlew. Several years ago Mr. and Mrs. Corlew made a major gift to the city for the purpose of providing recreational opportunities to Edwardsville’s citizens. The city leaders remembered and have now appropriately and permanently honored that gift. Edwardsville has a rich history of citizens, like Mr. and Mrs. Corlew, who have ‘given back’ and who have helped make our community the place we all now enjoy. We believe it is our turn to step up and do our part. The city has been blessed with not only many public spirited citizens, but with solid leadership at the City Council level and by past leaders like Mayor Gary Niebur and former City Administrator Ben Dickmann. These are the people whose stewardship has enabled Edwardsville to become the jewel that it is. We are happy to help Mayor Hal Patton and the current city’s leadership achieve their objective of improving the recreational facilities of Edwardsville.
“As grandparents, we look forward to bringing our grandchildren to this park and to having a picnic lunch in the Family Pavilion. Having witnessed the number of children, parents and grandparents who are already enjoying this facility, there is no doubt this park is a wonderful addition to Edwardsville,” he said. “We join the community in congratulating Mayor Patton for his vision and the city for making this park a reality.”
The park offers visitors a splash pad and playground at the intersection of South Main and Schwarz streets. It includes a walking and fitness track, shade structures, pavilions, and restrooms and changing rooms.
“We are so grateful to the Brooms for their contribution to the Leon Corlew Park,” said Bob Pfeiffer, director of Edwardsville Parks and Recreation. “The park has been overwhelmingly successful since opening on July 8 and we have seen countless numbers of happy faces on youngsters and parents alike. It’s been really wonderful to see this project take shape and add to the summer fun of so many families."
The park is one of the three parks included in the city of Edwardsville’s fundraising effort — A Better Place to Play. The other two parks in development include a Sports Park for baseball, softball, soccer, pickleball, tennis and more near the Interstate 55 corridor and an Ice Rink & Teen Center on Edwardsville School District grounds off Governor’s Parkway. Sponsorship and donations are needed so construction can begin.
The Metro East Parks and Recreation District provided a $300,000 grant to help fund the park and two additional Madison County Park Enhancement Program grants totaling $266,310 also were received to fund the walking trail and spray features. A $400,000 Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant was also awarded but is on hold because of the state of Illinois budget impasse.
Other park sponsors include Edwardsville Rotary Club ($30,000), Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon ($40,000), First Clover Leaf Bank ($10,000) and Global Brew Tap House ($8,000). Metro East Parks and Recreation District awarded an additional $300,000 for land acquisition for the new Sports Park, which will be the next park to be developed as part of the A Better Place to Play Campaign.
For more information about sponsorship opportunities for the Leon Corlew Park, visit betterplacetoplay.com or call Katie Grable at (618) 692-7538.
To make a donation to the A Better Place to Play Campaign, residents and potential sponsors are encouraged to donate online at betterplacetoplay.com or by contacting Edwardsville Community Foundation at edwardsvillecommunityfoundation.org/. Donations are tax-deductible.
For information on major gifts, contact Edwardsville Community Foundation at (855) 464-3223. Donations may be mailed to Edwardsville Community Foundation to P.O. Box 102, Edwardsville, IL 62025. Make a notation on the check that funds are to be applied to the A Better Place to Play campaign. If you wish to support a specific parks project, please also notate the designated park with your donation.
Those interested in learning more about the campaign can visit betterplacetoplay.com or call (618) 692-7538. The campaign also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/abetterplacetoplay and on Twitter at twitter.com/BP2Play.