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The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) has announced the Capital Region Community Foundation will be the recipient of the Community Impact Award for its leadership in the development of Rotary Park in downtown Lansing.  The award will be given as part of the LRCC’s upcoming Annual Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 27.

“Rotary Park is a true community jewel that is at the heart of efforts to build the riverfront and downtown community into a vibrant regional asset,” said Tim Daman, LRCC president and CEO. “The Capital Region Community Foundation’s commitment to placemaking and its leadership were instrumental in seeing this great project come to fruition.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the Chamber with the Community Impact Award,” said Laurie Baumer, executive vice president, Capital Region Community Foundation. “We share this honor with our partners who contributed financially and with their time to make this labor of love possible for our region.”

In partnership with the city of Lansing and Wieland, the Community Foundation created Rotary Park. The project cost $1.8 million and located in downtown Lansing on the Grand River, stretching from the Lansing Center to the Shiawassee Street Bridge. It features a sandy beach and patio, a vibrant plaza with a large fireplace, a magical lighted forest, which are lighted trees that automatically change colors, and a new venue for small concerts and events under the bridge.

In 2017, the Community Foundation commenced a major initiative to revitalize Lansing’s riverfront to create a vibrant, thriving region where people want to visit and live. After two years of fundraising and planning, the Community Foundation raised more than $1 million for all riverfront project from private donors for riverfront projects and has committed $1.5 million so far to match funds raised, dollar for dollar. The Community Foundation also established a fund to help the city of Lansing maintain the park’s amenities and contributed staffing to oversee the park’s design and construction. A Wieland retiree, the late Dennis Anderson, volunteered his time and expertise as a project manager.

Rotary Park’s financial contributors include Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation, Delta Dental, Dewpoint, Red Cedar Investment Management, Auto-Owners Insurance, Gillespie Group, Team Lansing Foundation and the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as several individual donors. Also, the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority awarded $343,000 for the park and Ingham County Parks Board allocated $100,000 toward bank stabilization, bringing the total riverfront investment to almost $3 million for all riverfront projects to date.

The Community Impact Award is one of four major awards that will be presented at the upcoming Annual Dinner Celebration. Previously announced award recipients include:

  • Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, Community Service Award
  • Hayhoe Asphalt, Outstanding Small Business Award
  • The Christman Company, Legacy Award

The LRCC Annual Dinner will take place on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Michigan State University Kellogg Center and Conference Center. Tickets are available by contacting Ashlee Willis at Event information is located on the LRCC’s website: