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Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization considering $20k match for Bessie Branham Park fundraiser

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Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization considering $20k match for Bessie Branham Park fundraiser

Children reach for one of the “Bubble Man” Robin Booth’s big bubbles at Bessie Branham Park during the Kirkwood Spring Fling on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — The Kirkwood Neighbors Organization met via Zoom on Saturday, September 10, at 7 p.m. for their monthly meeting.

Here are the major highlights from the meeting:

KNO votes on $20,000 match for $1M Bessie Branham Park fundraiser

Among several budget items presented for approval, a big ticket item was $20,000 for Bessie Branham Park, set aside to match grant money for a $1 million renovation project. The organization approved the first round of voting with another round at next month’s meeting, KNO’s standard practice for any amounts above $500.

Chair of Environmental Committee Earl Williamson said that KNO is currently in the process of competing for the Park Pride grant and will continue to apply for several other grants.

The following are included in plans for park improvements:

– A new playground

– A new surface for the playground

– Urban Treehouse deck restoration

– Reparation of the two granite installations in the southwest corner of the park

– Bring the baseball diamond up to regulation standards

– Fix drainage issues between playing field and playground

Williamson added that there were plans to resurface the tennis court, but the city has plans to tackle that already.

Formal fundraising within the community will begin at the Kirkwood Wine Stroll this Friday and continue through the Kirkwood Spring Fling Festival & Tour of Homes in May. From there, organizers will check how much they’ve raised and reassess when they can start to break ground on park improvements.

Have any questions? Reach out to Williamson via email at [email protected].

KNO board-proposed grant to give $15,000 to Neighbor in Need

Kirkwood Operations Lead for Neighbor in Need Justin Schaeffer gave a presentation about funds they have raised and spent on home repairs in Edgewood, East Lake and Kirkwood this year. The non-profit spent $52,651 on home repairs in Kirkwood alone from January 1 through July 31.

Following the presentation, KNO approved a $15,000 grant for Neighbor in Need, in line with its support in past years. This money will be designated for Kirkwood home repairs.

Brittany Molinaro, Neighbor in Need board member, explained the history of their relationship with Kirkwood in a follow-up interview.

“A couple of years ago, Kirkwood Neighbors Organization decided to form a similar organization called Kirkwood Cares to meet all of the demands they were seeing in the neighborhood,” Molinaro said.

During this time, Neighbor in Need continued to do work in the neighborhood, but with a larger capacity. Molinaro explained that KNO functioned as the fiscal agent for Kirkwood Cares, which became a beneficiary of funds from events like the annual Spring Fling.

“About this time last year, Kirkwood Cares approached Neighbor in Need and said they think it makes more sense if we combine our forces for good. It’s just going to streamline a lot of things, making it less confusing to the larger community,” Molinaro said. “We said, fantastic. As of Jan. 1, 2022, Kirkwood Cares is now Neighbor in Need, and we operate as one. [KNO] has still continued its commitment to helping, so now that gets funneled to Neighbor in Need. We are excited and grateful to be expecting an additional 15,000 from KNO.”

To learn more about Neighbor in Need and its different chapters, visit https://neighborinneed.org.

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