PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – A group of Port Chester residents wants to enter the village into a contest with a $100,000 grand prize and several $25,000 prizes that would help fund the creation of a dog park in Abendroth Park.
The PetSafe Bark for Your Park Dog Park Contest begins Wednesday, May 7, and the first round of online voting goes through June 13. Residents can vote for the proposed Port Chester Dog Park once a day on the contest website and once a day on the contest Facebook page. If the proposed Port Chester Dog Park is one of the 15 finalists, it will be part of another round of voting from June 13 to July 30.
“We’re really excited about this contest,” said Dina Goren, who had the idea to create a dog park in Port Chester.
Goren and the dog park group will ask the Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday, May 5, for formal approval to enter the PetSafe contest.
“We will need the whole community and county, if possible, to come out and vote daily for Port Chester to win this contest,” she said.
More than one year ago, Goren posed a question in a Facebook group: “Has anyone thought about having a dog park in Port Chester?”
“The response to that question was so enthusiastic and so positive that we decided, a group of us got together and decided, ‘OK, we’re going to start the Port Chester Dog Park group.’”
The group launched a Facebook page and later a website, then started a petition that got about 250 signatures. With that community support, the supporters proposed the concept to the village board and parks commission in early 2013.
They then selected Abendroth Park, which is behind the former United Hospital. The dog park would be fenced in on the upper level of the park and the hill, which leads down to the soccer field. The park would not include the playground.
The chief cost will be installing a new fence. Goren’s group has raised about $20,000 so far and needs to hit $55,000.
While the group has several fundraisers planned in the coming months, winning the PetSafe contest grand prize would be a great advantage.
"I can be in a really bad mood and go to a dog park and leave happy," Goren said. "It's just pure happiness for me. It’s also a community binding location."