The New York – New Jersey Trails Conference needs to raise $1 million by November 1 in order to receive a $500,000 donation that will help refurbish its future headquarters – the old Darlington Schoolhouse in Mahwah. Officials with the organization held a ceremony Wednesday marking a final fundraising push toward the million dollars.
“With current gifts amounting to $855,000, we are very close to meeting the all-or-nothing challenge from the Bolger Foundation to raise the $1 million by November 1, 2013,” Trail Conference Executive Director Ed Goodell said in a release. Raising $1 million by November will, “trigger an additional $500,000 gift from the Foundation,” he explained.
Goodell and NYNJTC volunteers unveiled a new fundraising thermometer on the front lawn of the Schoolhouse Wednesday, which they say will “hopefully” grab the attention of potential donors.
The Conference is planning two upcoming fundraisers to help it meet the goal, a “Farm Fest” party at Sun Valley Farm on September 29, and a Champaign Reception in Park Ridge on October 10.
“We are looking for any donations we can get,” Goodell told Patch Wednesday. “They will all matter and they will all be matched by the Bolger Foundation, $0.50 on every dollar.”
“This is crunch time,” he added.
The Bolger fundraising campaign is the final phase of fundraising for the project, which previously raised $1 million toward an anticipated total construction cost of around $2.5 million.
The Conference is currently seeking bids for the project, which plans to preserve the 4,400 square foot schoolhouse, which was originally built in the 1800s, and build a 3,900 square foot addition to it.
Plans for the renovated space also include a rebuilding of a stone wall at the front of the property, and a sidewalk that will run from Continental Soldiers Field, in front of the schoolhouse, and to a trail next door that leads to the Ramapo Valley Reservation.
Officials say they hope the renovations will increase community involvement in the NYNJTC, and provide better pedestrian access to the park.
Locals can get more information about the upcoming fundraisers and donating by calling the Conference at 201-512-9348.