Venues Parks & Arts Hosts First-Ever Day of Giving October 14, 2019 South Bend Venues Parks & Arts (SBVPA) will harness the power of online engagement for its first-ever flash fundraiser, Day of Giving, on Wednesday, October 16. The day’s goal is to reach at least $25,000, providing 2,500 free skating admissions and ensuring everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the new ice features. “We’re really excited to involve the entire South Bend community in this 24-hour fundraiser for this initiative,” said SBVPA Chief Development Officer, Annie Gawkowski. “Everyone should feel welcome to enjoy Howard Park, regardless of financial capability. This day of giving is an opportunity for all of us to ‘pay it forward’ and make a real difference in our city.” Funds raised during the 24-hour period will directly benefit Howard Park’s Skate-it-Forward initiative. In addition, 10% of every ice-skating admission throughout the season will go to the fund. Recipients of this initiative are residents of South Bend and organizations within the community who serve those financially unable. This initiative lifts the barrier of entry, giving opportunity to everyone in our city. “We can often forget the value of a few dollars in our daily lives, but just ten dollars can make someone’s day this winter,” said SBVPA Executive Director Aaron Perri. “I’d like to welcome everyone throughout the city to ‘skate it forward’ and make the winter brighter for your neighbors.” A running total will be posted periodically at the Howard Park Facebook page as well as contests and more. The campaign will be actively accepting donations from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Howard Park will feature an interconnected ice trail and pond, will be LEED v4 -certified and ADA-accessible, with a multi-generational playground, two riverside event lawns, a full-service café, public walkways, and more. The Howard Park Legacy Project is part of My South Bend Parks and Trails (MSBPT), a combination of park, trail and riverfront upgrades that will fundamentally change the landscape of South Bend’s shared green spaces. MSBPT’s project list was developed based on feedback from community, recommendations from the Park Score and statistics from National Recreation and Park Association. For more information on MSBPT, visit mysbparksandtrails.com. Venues Parks & Arts is a department in the City of South Bend that inspires a more livable South Bend for all, connecting people to emotionally engaging experiences and to one another. For more information about Venues Parks & Arts, visit sbvpa.org.