Push for the Path: The Power of Community Fundraising
When life throws a tragedy at you, unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about it. But with a little help from friends and family, there’s always something good that can come out of a bad situation.
Darlene McCue, the inspiration for Push for the Path
A friend of mine lost his mother (Darlene McCue) in an accident. She was riding her bike down Kennedy Road (a road in Yorkville, Illinois) with her daughter, when suddenly a driver—who happened to be texting while driving—hit her and took her life. Moments like these are sudden and they make anyone feel powerless. But in light of this accident, McCue’s family and close friends put together a non-profit organization to try to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
Their non-profit organization, Push for the Path, was created to raise funds to build a 2.72 mile multi-use path on Kennedy Road. This is a 1.7 million dollar project! The City of Yorkville was awarded a 1.4 million dollar grant to go toward the project, and other grants were applied as well. Some will be paid for in installments each year until the fiscal year of 2017-2018. But all of this still leaves Push for the Path to raise about $220,000 to complete the project.
Push for the Path hopes to raise $100,000 of that by July 2012. That’s a lot of money to raise in a short time!
Push for the Path is doing several things to raise the remaining amount of money. They are planning other fundraisers that will be held by the committee, and they are also approaching local businesses to get other donations. It seems as though Wrigley Company, a large local employer, is awarding the Path with a generous grant. They are also planning to approach Nicor, where Darlene McCue was employed.
Yorkville would majorly benefit from having a path along Kennedy Road. People can use the path for a number of activities — going for a run, bike riding, walking a pet, or maybe just to reach a local destination — without fearing that their lives are in danger.
Besides those benefits, the path would facilitate other community uses as well. It would have almost 1800 homes directly connect to it and serve as a link to 12.21 miles of other existing paths of Yorkville. Since it would also connect to the 35 mile long Fox River Trail, it helps the people of Yorkville get to different locations like Grand Reserve and Autumn Creek Elementary Schools (which means it provides a safer walk for children). It connects to Blackberry Oaks Golf Course and Yorkville’s Rec Center, 5 public parks, and would go all the way to downtown Yorkville and commercial areas along Route 34 and Route 47.
We should be thankful that McCue’s family and friends are remembering her by also thinking of everyone else out there. Although many people hold fundraisers for funeral coverages or any other expenses (which, don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way saying that is a bad thing — I have contributed to organizations like that), McCue’s family and friends have also come up with a way to help their hometown and the people living in it. We can appreciate this by contributing in any way we can to Push for the Path!
I don’t know about you, but I put myself in the family’s shoes when I hear stories about things like this. I can’t help but try to come up with any way I can contribute. For anyone who is interested, you can check out Push for the Path’s website or visit their Facebook page. Although this path proposal does not bring back the life of Darlene McCue, your help and support will send the family your condolences and raise awareness to prevent other people from a experiencing a similar tragedy!
What do you think of the Push for the Path organization? Do you have a fundraising story you’d like to share? What else could we do to help out in tragic situations like this?