Hamilton County Parks celebrate 50 years at gala


Guests practice archery at the 2015 fundraiser, Clip It. (Submitted photo)

By Desiree Williams

The Friends of Hamilton County Parks Inc., will host a decade-themed gala to celebrate 50 years of the Hamilton County Parks & Recreation Dept. Guests will travel through six decades of memories, music and fashion at 6 p.m. May 5 at Ritz Charles in Carmel, 12156 N. Meridian St.

This will be the third annual fundraising gala organized by the Friends of Hamilton County Parks Inc. The organization was created in 2006 as the funding mechanism for the parks department.

Parks and Recreation Director Allen Patterson said the department had hosted fundraisers before, but they were more costly than beneficial, which led the department to create a fundraising committee to organize future events.

“(The) goal is to help set the vision and direction of our foundation’s board,” said Bruce Snyder, vice president. “Also, the biggest thing we are able to do is to use our connections and use the people that we know to get others involved with giving to the foundation.”

This year’s gala, “Oh, What a Night!” will take visitors from the ‘60s all the way to the future of the parks. There will be decade-specific activities, trivia and information booths. Snyder and Patterson encourage guests to dress in attire from their favorite decade to participate in the costume contest.

Guests will enter the event by walking through a replica of Potter’s Bridge.

“We’ve announced that we want to provide a conservatory on the Coxhall Gardens space,” Snyder said. “Potter’s Bridge is where we started, and the future is the fundraising activity that we’re going to do for the conservatory.”

The gala will feature cocktails, live music and a silent and live auction. There will be videos that celebrate the history of the parks and offer insight into where the department will go in the future.

Tickets are $100. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit


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