It’s a sickening crime that’s happened at least four times over the past year and a half — someone put razor blades in a park used by children.
It happened again over the weekend at Bonita Cove Park in Mission Bay. But one group is stepping up with a donation to help catch whoever is responsible. And they have even bigger plans for the park, beyond catching the culprit.
“I’m just appalled that somebody would do something that sick that they would do something that would hurt children,” said Maruta Gardner of the Mission Beach Women’s Club.
Gardner spent her professional career helping children. She retired as a school principal a few years ago. The Mission Beach Women’s Club usually raises money for good causes, like helping out the music program at Mission Bay High School. But their latest donation was to Crimestoppers.
“We wrote a $1,000 check, sent it to Crimestoppers to establish a reward,” she said.
That will no doubt come as good news to park goers like Shelly Yerkes.
“I wouldn’t bring any child to this specific area right now until I knew that someone had been apprehended,” Yerkes said.
The donation of the Women’s Club is first and foremost to catch the person or persons planting razor blades. But for the club, it’s about more than just putting the culprit behind bars. They have big plans for the park.
“We know that this is an area that the entire city, actually the entire county comes to Mission Bay Park and brings their chlidren,” Gardner said. “If this is gonna happen, it’s only gonna happen if we get this going.”
She’s talking about the other playground, the western one in Bonita Cove Park. It’s aging, playground equipment dating back to the 1960s.
“It hasn’t been upgraded at all, and you know it’s rusted. It’s still functional. You still see kids playing on it,” she said.
In addition to the rusting swingsets, there are concrete items never used on playgrounds these days. But, it’s about more than just new playground equipment.
“(We need) shade, maybe new lighting, new bathrooms, new water fountains, just upgrade the entire area,” Gardner said. It’s a multi-million dollar project, she said, but the club is already getting support from nearby businesses.
“The Evans Hotels, the Bahia and the Catamarran, the Belmont Park people are interested in working together with us,” she said. “The local businesses would pitch in.”
It’s an ambitious plan and the club will have to jump through a lot of hoops, meeting ADA requirements and the like. But Gardner said that won’t dissuade them.
2019 Philanthropy Funds Given to 25 Community Non Profits
.If you are a nonprofit organization and would like to request a donation from the MBWC Foundation to support your organization’s cause(s), fill out an online form here.
You can also print the Donation Request Form by clicking the link below, print it, fill it out and mail to the Mission Beach Women’s Club Foundation, 840 Santa Clara Place, San Diego, CA 92109.
Requests for funding for the next fiscal year are being accepted through October 31, 2021.