Fundraising for the Parks: Oz Park Tennis Court Restoration
Oz Park is a bustling neighborhood space that people from all over the city come to enjoy. The park is situated in the heart of the Lincoln Park neighborhood and hosts whimsical Wizard of Oz statues for the community’s enjoyment. One of the most used attractions is the tennis courts, which are in need of resurfacing.
Judy Johanson is the President of Oz Park Advisory Council (PAC). She calls herself the eyes and ears of Oz Park as her front porch overlooks the green space. Judy, Oz PAC, and community members are raising $120,000 to restore the tennis courts. The project had a fateful beginning. It was at the top of their fundraising initiatives, and the PAC was in the beginning stages of fundraising when community member Ray Cahnman attended a PAC meeting to discuss the courts. Ray is an avid tennis player and was troubled by the state of the courts. The group then contacted the Chicago Parks Foundation, who agreed to be the fiscal partner for the project and help coordinate fundraising. Alderman Michele Smith had already committed to supporting the project, and from here it took off.
People from all over Chicago use the Oz Park tennis courts. Lincoln Park High School, Lincoln Park Elementary School, and DePaul University tennis teams all utilize the courts. According to Ray, this restoration will allow these students, as well as players across the city, to play on first class courts.
The fundraising initiative also includes a maintenance plan. The courts will be cleaned and painted regularly and the nets will be taken down and stored during the winter months. This will ensure that the courts can be properly maintained throughout the years and will have a lasting impact.
Donate to the Oz Park Tennis Courts Restoration Project!The Chicago Parks Foundation is accepting donations online or by mail. All donations are tax deductible. Please specify the Oz Park Tennis Courts Project with all donations. The project is projected to be completed early summer to not conflict with the school tennis season. All donations over $5,000 will be recognized on a plaque.