A recent headline in The Wenatchee World stated the “Loop Trail will finally be finished,” referring to the 5-mile extension of the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail to Lincoln Rock State Park, known as the Rocky Reach Trail. The content of that article clarified that the Rocky Reach Trail project is broken into three phases. Phase One (the north mile joining Lincoln Rock Park with an overlook at the fish bypass pipe at Rocky Reach Dam) is fully funded and construction should commence by this fall. The article then announced that Rep. Brad Hawkins was able to get in the Washington State 2014 capital budget $3.755 million to complete Phase Three (the 3.5- mile segment in the middle joining the two end segments). This Phase Three is the hard part and the most expensive phase and it is a huge relief to know it will be built next summer.
But here is the point those of us on the Complete the Loop Coalition (CTLC) wish to emphasize to the community: We have committed to raising the funds to build Phase Two, the south six-tenths of a mile which may cost between $300,000 and $400,000. I am absolutely sure that the Legislature would not have granted the $3.755 million for Phase Three had we not committed to build Phase Two with donated local funds. We now have to do our part, and fortunately we have the potential to get this done thanks to two matching pledges.
First, Drs. Eliot and Tina Scull have generously pledged to give $1 for every $2 that we raise from the general community up to a maximum of $100,000. They have no obligation to give more than 50 percent of what we raise from the general public. Currently that amount is around $40,000. Second, the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center has pledged to give $1 for every $1 we raise from the current employees of Central Washington Hospital, Confluence Health and the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, up to a maximum of $100,000. The match for these pledges cannot be double-counted and are mutually exclusive. The tools are there to reach our goal, now we just have to do it. The Coalition will wrap up this drive by Dec. 31, 2013.
When it comes to charitable giving, procrastination is a common response because charity always begins at home and there are always bills to be paid. But we say this: If you love the Loop Trail and use it, as you read these lines get out the checkbook or get on the Internet and make a donation now.
(1) Send your tax deductible contribution to: CTLC, P.O. Box 1192, Wenatchee WA, or (2) go to www.rockyreachtrail.org and donate online by PayPal or credit card. If you are an employee of any of the three health care organizations mentioned, please identify that fact.
The sooner we get this fundraising done, the sooner we can walk or ride our bikes to Lincoln Rock State Park along the river. All donors will be listed on our website regardless of the amount and you may make your donation “In memory of …” a loved one.
Finally, donors may ask: “What happens if you raise more money than necessary to build Phase Two, where does the excess go?” The CTLC is dedicated to the proposition that any excess funds should go in an endowment to make future trail improvements and to assist in maintenance of our existing trails in the Wenatchee Valley.
Please help us finish this long-delayed project.
Bob Parlette is the chairman of the Complete the Loop Coalition.