St. Johns Gets Prize Check For $10K

"I didn't expect all this."

"All this" was the high school band, the veteran honor guard, dozens of community members and a police escort for folks from Reader's Digest. It seemed far-fetched when Palmer signed St. Johns up for a little known contest called "We Hear You America."

"I actually saw it in the back of a magazine," said Palmer. "I have a real interest in childhood obesity and coordinated school health."

Palmer believed in the cause and knew she could bring the community together to accomplish it. The online voting caught fire and St. Johns finished sixth out of 2,000 cities and towns.

"Without further ado, on behalf of Reader's Digest, here's your check for $10,000!"

That was the announcement on the stage of the band shell in the St. Johns' city park.

The idea of a water park, began with the old city pool which the city closed and doomed a while back. Somewhere along the line, a few parents came up with the idea for a water park.

"Kids all the way up to senior citizens in town have been really supportive," says Suzie Fromson, who is heading up the water park committee. "(We want) a fun and safe place for the kids-- that was the intent of the pool-- and that's what we hope with the water park."

The next step is to raise a lot more money to get a finished product like the one at Hawk Island Park in Lansing, for example.

"This is just seed money," says Fromson. "We've gotten such a great response from the community that this $10,000 will kick off our fundraising efforts."

It's safe to say the kids hope the fundraising is a big success.

When asked what they thought about a new water park, the answer was uniform and loud.

"AWESOME!!!"

Depending on how "awesome" a water park they want in St. Johns-- fundraising will have to get another $200,000 dollars minimum. The committee will try and do that through donations, grants, and money from the city. When it happens, the water park will go where the old city pool is.


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