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Woodall Rodgers Park receives $9 Million in private donations

by Shawn Williams

On the 14th floor of the Hunt Oil Headquarters Building, the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation announced $9 million in donations that will go to towards building The Park, a 5.2 acre par that will bridge over Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas. City leaders were on hand to welcome the cash influx to one of Dallas’ signature construction projects currently underway.

The foundation received a gift from Linda and Mitch Hart to name the Harwood Plazas and Pedestrian Boulevard. The Richard Fisher Family offered a gift to name the Restaurant Pavilion and Cindy and Bill Ward gave a gift that will name the Children’s Park Gazebos. These plus gifts from Lyda Hill and two anonymous donors toal more than $8.5 million.

Jody Grant, Chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Foundation Board, opened the meeting with the backdrop of the Arts District and Uptown behind him. Out the window those at the press conference could see construction on the deck that will cover the highway. Work is about 50% complete. Grant brought up Mayor Tom Leppert who talked about the hard work to get to this point and what the park will bring to the city.

Linda and Mitch Hart approached the microphone and opened up about why they felt this was a good place to invest millions of dollars. Mitch and I are convinced that this will change the face of Dallas, and the lives of its citizens,” Mrs. Hart said.

Foundation president and CEO Linda Owens introduced kindergarten students from Laureate Preparatory an Uplift Education museum school just down the road. She said that the children would be the biggest winners of these gifts from the families on hand. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and their school pledge, the kindergarteners present the donors with pictures they created to represent the upcoming park.

The Foundation is still looking to complete the final phase of their development campaign, seeking $17 million in private donations before The Park opens next year.

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