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BY KAITLYN MEADE | The Friends of Washington Market Park are up against the clock this month as they try to raise money to replace the three backboards on the park’s basketball court.
The Friends, a non-profit neighborhood organization, is working to raise $6,500 with a “March Madness” campaign to replace the backboards on the Chambers St. court by the end of this month.
The effort was started by Friends treasurer Jonathan Stinnett, whose two children are involved in the local sports leagues and are “avid basketball players.”
He got the idea after talking to friends and neighbors, and seeing the court “underused” by residents. “I think it’s very hard for recreation space to keep up with the population explosion Downtown,” said Stinnett. “The hope is that the Chambers St. court can become more of a gathering place for the community.”
Stinnett said that Friends has been working with the city Parks Dept. to get an estimate from TrueBounce, which supplies equipment to the Parks Dept. The money would replace all three backboards, rims and a stock of netting.
While “March Madness” might continue on into April, co-president of Friends Erica Martini hoped that it would be possible to reach their goal this month. “It’s a matter of getting word out,” she said.
As of March 14, Stinnett said they had raised $2,135, a week and a half into the campaign.
The basketball court is located on Chambers St., between West St. and the entrance to Borough of Manhattan Community College. It’s open from 8 a.m. until dusk.
For more info or to donate online, visit washingtonmarketpark.org. Donations by mail can be made to The Friends of Washington Market Park at P.O. Box 3275, New York, NY 10008.