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7/11/2011
Charlotte, NC -- To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and local nonprofit agency Hands On Charlotte are partnering to raise money to build an 11-acre park in Charlotte’s Lincoln Heights neighborhood during the week leading up to Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011.

“We are very excited to partner with Hands On Charlotte to make this park a reality,” said Jim Garges, director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. “The master plan for our department is to have a park within six blocks of every home. This is a major step in realizing that goal.”

Hands On Charlotte (HOC) is organizing the Lincoln Heights park build as part of the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance, an effort to equip more than 1 million Americans to serve their communities on September 11. Locally, HOC plans to engage at least 1,000 volunteers at the Lincoln Heights park and at other projects as part of its 9/11 Week of Service.

“This park will give residents the means to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with service,” said Lisa Quisenberry, HOC’s executive director. “I can’t think of a better way to remember the lives lost on 9/11 than through service. Our service to each other in times of tragedy and mourning shows what makes this country so special.”

In addition to recruiting volunteers to build the Lincoln Heights park, HOC is the effort’s primary fundraiser. With total costs estimated near $200,000 including playground equipment that must be purchased weeks in advance, HOC is looking for donations. US Airways has signed on as the volunteer event’s primary sponsor. Still, the project requires additional financing.

“We still need businesses and individuals to step up and help us fund this event,” Quisenberry said. “We are optimistic about reaching our goal, but we need more backers to come onboard.”

To donate, visit http://www.partnersforparks.org/ click on “Funds,” “Make a Donation,” and select the Hats Off Fund or visit www.handsoncharlotte.org