Dinner On First event held to raise funds for new park

Will Hogue

CULLMAN – On Saturday evening the Cullman Parks and Recreation Foundation Board held the inaugural Dinner On First event to kick off fundraising efforts for the newest park project that the CP&R is undertaking.

The dinner took place on First Avenue, which was transformed into a giant dining room for those in attendance. Before the dinner got underway, there were appetizers and an open bar for the guests in the Festhalle. The farm-to-table meal was catered by Dyron’s Lowcountry, a Mountain Brook-based restaurant.

All the tickets were sold out for the event, which included a 300-foot-long rustic dinner table set up on First Avenue. Live music was provided by local acoustic group Round 2.

Nathan Anderson, executive director of the Cullman City Parks and Recreation Department, was very satisfied by how the evening came together.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with how the Dinner on First fundraiser turned out,” Anderson said. “Considering this being the inaugural event, the outcome was far more than we could have ever expected, and the support we experienced was amazing.”

The event was open to anyone who purchased tickets beforehand. The tickets were $100 for individuals, $200 for couples and $800 for a full table.

Although totals haven’t been officially finalized, Anderson said he feels it is safe to say that over $35,000 was raised for the new park project.

The project is called the Connected Park. The park will be at the Ingle Park location.

“It will be a park for people of all abilities,” Anderson said. “Meaning a child with full physical abilities will look at the park features and see a park that was created for them, and at the same time, a child with special needs or more limited physical abilities will look at the park and they, too, will see a park that was designed for them. We are diligently working to strategically plan a park to accommodate anyone, regardless of their abilities.”

Anderson projects that it will take two years to raise the funds necessary to complete the park, but is not worried about being able to meet the goal.

“Our community has a history of being generous when it comes to fundraising for things like this,” he said. “Heritage Park and the Field of Miracles happened because of our community’s generosity, and based on history, we know the community will once again get behind a great project and make the Connected Park vision a reality.”

If the inaugural Dinner On First event is any indicator, ground will be broken on the Connected Park in no time.

For a look at the proposed park, visit http://qrne.ws/park.