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Edwardsville couple makes $50,000 donation to Leon Corlew Park in Edwardsville

Lifelong Edwardsville residents Mark and Sally Speciale have pledged a donation of $50,000 to help fund the construction of the new family pavilion at Leon Corlew Park.

The donation is part of the “A Better Place to Play Campaign” launched to raise funds to develop three new parks in Edwardsville, including Leon Corlew Park..

The Speciales have been longtime supporters of various local organizations, including the Edwardsville Community Foundation. The donation will provide families enjoying the splash pad, playground and walking trail at the park another shade shelter they can flock to as a relief from the sun’s rays when the park opens back up next Memorial Day.
In making the donation, Mark Speciale said, “It is good to know that the Leon Corlew Splash Park will soon have an additional pavilion for all citizens to use and enjoy. Sally and I have lived in the Edwardsville area all our lives. It is a great community because of its citizens, organizations and leaders. People in this community are willing to give their time, talents and dollars to make it even better. Our entire family is proud to be able to do our part.”

The pledge of $50,000 was made by the Speciales in honor of their grandson Nick Ursch.

Leon Corlew Park offers visitors a splash pad and playground at the intersection of South Main and Schwarz Street. It also includes a walking/fitness track, shade structures, pavilions, seasonal concession stand and restrooms/changing rooms.

“We are so grateful to the Speciales for their contribution to Leon Corlew Park. The park has been overwhelmingly successful since opening in 2016 and we have seen countless numbers of happy faces on youngsters and parents alike,” said Bob Pfeiffer, director of Edwardsville Parks and Recreation. “It’s been really wonderful to see this project take shape and add to the summer fun of so many families. We look forward to opening the park again in 2018 with a brand new pavilion for all to share.“

The campaign is aimed at raising funds for three new parks in Edwardsville. The other two parks in development include Plummer Family Park, a sports park for baseball, softball, soccer, pickleball and more near the I-55 corridor and an Ice Rink & Teen Center to be located on District 7 grounds off of Governors’ Parkway. Sponsorship and donations are also needed to help fund these parks so construction can begin.

Several grants were awarded for the construction of Leon Corlew Park including a $300,000 grant from Metro East Parks and Recreation District, a $400,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development and two additional Madison County Park Enhancement Program (PEP) grants totaling $266,310 were also awarded.

Other sponsors of the Leon Corlew Park, include: Gordon and Holly Broom ($50,000); Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon ($40,000); Edwardsville Rotary Club ($30,000); First Clover Leaf Bank ($10,000) and Global Brew Tap House ($8,000).

For more information about sponsorship opportunities for Leon Corlew Park visit or call Katie Grable at (618) 692-7538.

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