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Rebuilding McKinley: A City response

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— Press Release from the City of Sacramento Office of Media & Communications —

Councilmember Steve Cohn has already received an outpouring of support in response to a suspected arson fire at the McKinley Village playground. The fire destroyed about one-third of the play area early Saturday morning.

The donations range from a total of $10,000 coming from State Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Councilmember Cohn’s Pops in the Park fund, to a 7-year-old girl who delivered lemon-aide stand money to the Councilmember in her piggy bank.

“I have been touched by the outpouring of community support. My initial reaction to the fire was one of anger, giving way to sadness, giving way to a steely determination to get this playground rebuilt as soon as possible,” Cohn said. Cohn is heading the rebuild effort together with Parks and Recreation Department staff.

To donate, make your checks payable to: "Gifts to Share/Rebuild McKinley " (Tax ID #94-2985546) and send to: Gifts to Share, Inc., 915 I Street, 5th floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Or, donate online at www.giftstoshare.org and choose Rebuild McKinley from the pull-down menu. All donations are tax deductible and no fees are deducted. The entire donation goes toward rebuilding the playground.

If you’re interested in being put on a list to volunteer for the future rebuild, please contact Cyndia Castro, the parks volunteer coordinator, at 916-808-2285, or ccastro@cityofsacramento.org.

The City is exploring the availability of park funds and has started the process of filing an insurance claim, however, the insurance is expected only to cover the cost of replacing the damaged section. Yet, wood throughout the entire playground has aged and is due for replacement. Restoring the playground may run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meetings with community members are being planned to get feedback about potential rebuilding plans and associated costs.

In the meantime, demolition of the charred remains will begin in August and is expected to be completed by Labor Day.

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