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Fort Wayne Trails will act as a community partner and advocate in the development of a connected, multi-purpose system of trails in Allen County.

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Building Momentum: Camille Garrison

Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014

Building trails takes a great deal of effort from hundreds of City employees, elected officials, contractors, construction workers, and, of the voices of passionate, community volunteers. Many of our region’s trail connections wouldn’t be here without volunteers to fundraise, advocate for, and use the trails on a regular basis. Through our blog, we’d like to share the stories of those who are building momentum behind trails and rallying support for their continued growth. This month, we interview Camille Garrison, an energetic, tenacious volunteer who has taken the lead in fundraising for trail connections in Waynedale. We asked her three questions about her efforts.

What sparked your passion for connecting Waynedale to the Trails?
To be honest, it was quite selfish to begin with. I could see the St. Mary’s Pathway coming out of Foster Park from my house but couldn’t get to it without riding or walking on a very busy road like Fairfield or Tillman, which I was nervous about doing. As I researched the opportunity, I realized Waynedale has hundreds of families with homes and apartments here on Lower Huntington that would benefit from a safe pedestrian crossing over the bridge with connection to the trail. I also had hopes that someday our residents from the Assisted Living community where I work might be able to enjoy the trails as well. We have participated in the Fort4Fitness Senior Marathon for the past three years.

Tell us about your efforts thus far, and your two upcoming events.
My employer, Kingston Residence kicked off a Waynedale Initiative fundraising campaign in March, 2012 with our annual Taste of Waynedale Event when we donated $4,350. Hair Affair did an event last spring and raised $2,000. Pizza Hut has hosted several fundraiser lunches and they keep a collection jar out all the time. We also hosted a lunch with Nine Mile restaurant in the Walgreen’s parking lot. We have had additional support from Curves members and anonymous donors. Right now, we have close to $15,000 in our coffers that will help fund the design work on Bluffton Road.

Our group also collected signatures from Waynedale community events and sent petitions with over 1,000 names to City Council to support creating a line item to budget for trail development.

We have a dedicated group of volunteers who meet monthly and are working to host at least one fundraiser per month. If you are interested in joining our committee, please contact me at 415-7741. Here are two upcoming fundraising events scheduled:

On March 18th, from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 1819 Reservation Drive, Kingston Residence will sponsor the 6th Annual Taste of Waynedale. We have 26 restaurants that will be sampling food including the new Wings Etc., Spyro’s, Culvers, Big Boy, Bandido’s, Hall’s Original Drive In, Capt’n Ron’s Corral and Belmont Beverage serving wine to name just a few. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. We will also have a very large Silent Auction. The proceeds from the event will be split between our Waynedale Trail Projects and the Community Harvest Food Bank. Call me at 415-7741 or email me at cgarrison@kingstonhealthcare.com for more info on how to get tickets. 

We also have a Spirit Night set up with Chick-fil-A at Jefferson Pointe on Monday, April 7th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. They will donate 15% of all sales purchased inside the restaurant.

What are you most looking forward to this coming year?
Hmmm, I can’t narrow that down to just one item. Four things get me really excited…

  1. The pedestrian crossing over Lower Huntington Bridge. The City of Fort Wayne shares that this project should be completed this year!
  2. Seeing the plans develop for Trails and Sidewalks down Bluffton Road. It will be incredible to connect to Foster Park and also create walk in traffic to our area businesses.
  3. Watching the four recipients of the Façade Grants make improvements to their buildings in Waynedale. I love how we are continuing to grow so positively. 
  4. I think the most exciting thing is how our Waynedale Community is coming together to support all of our efforts for our Trails and Sidewalk projects. People are volunteering to help and are really enthusiastic!

Thank you to Camille and her team for all their efforts in fundraising and advocating for the trails in Waynedale! We’re very grateful for their support. If you’re interested in volunteering for the trails in any capacity, please contact us, and we’d be happy to get you involved in a meaningful way.

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