Backers are in line to receive $30,000 toward construction of a new playground at Chambers Creek Properties through a corporate Internet competition.
They are asking people to vote for the Playground by the Sound project through the Pepsi Refresh Project, which is gives away more than a million dollars each month to help communities around the nation.
Playground by the Sound is seeking two grants through the competition: $25,000 for construction, and $5,000 for design and engineering.
On Tuesday, with four days of voting remaining, both proposals were No. 3 in their respective categories.
The top 10 projects in each category receive funding after a review process to verify the project’s feasibility, said Linda Bird, a member of the project’s steering committee and a former University Place mayor.
The committee has raised between $75,000 and $80,000 toward the project. It wants to raise $159,000.
“We feel pretty confident that we could be ready to go in September,” Bird said. “The other $30,000 from Pepsi would make me sleep better.”
The steering committee will re-enter the contest in January.
The committee had entered the $50,000 in July, August and September. But the project couldn’t crack the Top 20.
“It takes a lot more votes to be successful in the $50,000 category,” Bird said. “We pulled out and went back in the $25,000 category with the strategy of winning it twice. So far, it looks like we’re halfway toward that strategy.”
The University Place Volunteer Center ($5,000), the University Place Library Campaign ($25,000) and a citizens group looking to help needy youth and seniors ($5,000) also will enter the contest next month, she said.
Backers are asking people to vote three times each day – through the Pepsi Refresh Project Web site, through its Facebook page and by text message – and spread the word to their family members and friends. People can go to Playground by the Sound’s Web site to learn more and how and where to vote.
Bird said a dedicated group of people have been clicking away daily to get the project in a position to secure the funding.
People who sign up for the daily reminder on the project’s Web site and vote could win an iPod Touch through a random drawing.
The 12,000-square-foot playground would be located in the North Meadow area of the 900-acre Pierce County-owned Chambers Creek Properties. The playground is an effort to aid in the fight against childhood obesity and teach children about their natural environment. The regional recreational area is located on the shore of Puget Sound.
Children in University Place and Tacoma helped with the design of the playground, and the organization is enlisting the help of volunteers to construct the playground. Leathers and Associates, a national playground design firm, will supervise construction, expected to take five days.