Publish Date

Park District and Board acknowledge Commissioner Edwards for his generous $100K donation; fundraising campaign that helps thousands of kids have an active, enriching summer 

Today, during its regular monthly meeting, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, re-elected Myetie Hamilton to Chair the Board and ModestoValle to serve as Vice President to the Board, both for a one-year term. The Board approved the contract to renovate the cultural center at Garfield Park Fieldhouse, located at 100 N. Central Park Avenue in the East Garfield Park community. Also, during the meeting held at Fosco Park, 1312 S. Racine in the Near West community, the Park District and Board acknowledged Commissioner Don Edwards for his generous $100,000 gift to help families in need send their children to Park District camps this Summer. 

The Chicago Park District’s Ethics Officer presented a revised ethics ordinance to strengthen its gift ban and political activities provision and bringing into compliance with State Law.  This is part of the Chicago Park District efforts to support accountability and responsibility across the district. Today, the Board of Commissioners approved the ordinance amendment after a 45-day public comment period. Once adopted training of employees across the district will begin.

“Our efforts are to continue building a strong organization and elevating the of Chicago residents and strengthening the Chicago Park District Ethics Ordinance is in line with our efforts to resetting expectations of employee conduct and accountability,” said Rosa Escareno. “By bringing the District into compliance will also help us govern external partners and contractors doing business with the Park District.”

The Board unanimously voted to re-elect President Hamilton for her second, one year term as Chair. Hamilton, the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Chicago, was appointed to the Board as Commissioner in September 2021 and named President in February last year. 

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as President of the Board of Commissioners and work alongside Vice President Valle, my fellow Commissioners, Superintendent Escareño, and the Park District administrative team and staff, said Hamilton. “Above all, I am humbled and honored to serve the youth, families and communities of our great City – and to continue advancing equity through our Park’s facilities, programming, and services in an effort to uplift our most marginalized communities,

The Board also unanimously re-elected Vice President Modesto Valle to serve his second, one-year term. Valle was appointed to the Park District Board in September of 2021.    

Commissioner Edwards’ $100,000 donation will be instrumental in the Park District’s efforts to assist families in need afford the cost of camp.  Today’s announcement and check presentation launched the District’s annual “Send A Kid to Camp” fundraising campaign, urging individuals, groups and corporations to give.  The Park District expects to provide roughly $550,000 in support from the “Send A Kid To Camp” fund as part of the estimated $3 million in financial assistance the District commits to each year.

"As a committed advocate of Park District programs, Anne and I are humbled to be able to provide support to facilitate access for families to essential out-of-school time programs that are vital to help children thrive,” said Chicago Park District Board Commissioner Donald J. Edwards.  "We hope that this gift will inspire companies and individuals to support this initiative, and together, help meet the need for enriching programs in our communities.”

“Many parents and caregivers continue to struggle financially to meet their families most basic needs and we are incredibly grateful to Commissioner Edwards his generous gift of summer camp and opportunity to Chicago children,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Rosa Escareño. “His continued support and the support of other donors each year the District to ease families burdens while giving our youth an active, enriching and memorable summer camp experience.” 

The Board gave the District authorization to enter into a contract with Structures Construction, LLC. to renovate the Cultural Center at the Garfield Park Gold Dome. Work will include the installation of an elevator to serve all three floors and an ADA platform lift, new theater lighting and rigging system, acoustic panels and curtains, audio/visual systems and associated controls, electrical improvements for the new theatre equipment, HVAC improvements, plumbing improvements for theatre dressing rooms, and upgraded finishes and furnishings for theatre support spaces. This is the fourth Park District cultural center to undergo extensive renovations and allow for enhanced opportunities and support for performing artists. The contract amount is not to exceed $2,819,019.00 and meets the District’s compliance goals with 25% MBE and 7% WBE participation.

The Board also gave the District authorization to enter into joint purchasing agreements with the City of Chicago for contracts that will yield more than $2.8 million in savings. The District will utilize the City’s existing contract with Canon Solutions America, Incorporated for imaging equipment and services and and a contract modification with Computer Aid, Incorporated for application support services. By joining existing contracts, the District is able to divert cost savings to other operational needs.  

“As a public agency, the Park District has a fiduciary duty to the residents and families we serve,” said Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “Joint purchasing agreements like these allow us to meet the needs of our workforce and better serve the public while saving millions of dollars that can now be invested in other projects.”

Today, the Board granted provisional approval for the Pitchfork to be permitted on park property later this year as required for events with an expected attendance of 10,000 or more.  The District also delivered a presentation on the non-race related features of the NASCAR Chicago Street Race that are scheduled to take place in Grant Park, July 2nd- 4th. Other agenda items include the Board’s vote to establish the Decennial Committee of Government Efficiency as required by state law.