LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau donated a $50,000 grant to help in the rebuilding of Millennium Park on Friday.
The donation will allow the rebuilding committee to redesign the park and create a "Shiver Me Timbers" pirate ship. The new play components will be designed to bring life and history to the park.
Officials with the visitor's bureau remember the pain felt on that day the park burned to the ground.
"Everybody on our staff we just immediately were thinking this couldn't have happened to Millennium Park," said Shelley Johnson, executive director for the bureau.
Johnson added the bureau is glad to donate funds to a place that will serve as a lake area attraction for visitors.
"It certainly is an anchor in our attraction base here in Southwest Louisiana," said Johnson. "It says we're family friendly which is what our destination is about. We're very proud to help kick off the fundraising campaign and be a part of this landmark project here in southwest Louisiana."
More than fifty components will be available for area businesses to sponsor. The planning committee plans to raise $350,000 more to bring the park back to life again.
"We are hoping to raise enough funds to upgrade the quality of the facility, the lighting, and the security," said Mayor Randy Roach. "Our commitment is to the park and that's what we want to focus on."
The rebuilding committee is searching for sponsors to donate money and give names to certain areas of the park.
"We have different levels for contribution and certain levels that have the right to name a particular part of the park," said Mayor Roach.
The next step for the rebuilding committee is to present their master plan to City Council for approval on Wednesday.
For information on donating funds to the rebuilding fund go to www.foundationswla.com.