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Thousands of dollars raised quickly for park

Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 00:41:16-04

It took three days for a few businesses and individuals to help get Rob Whan's dreams off the ground.

"It's good to see the community come together, and the love of giving is definitely in this neighborhood," said Whan, after collecting $21,200 in donations this past week for a new park.

The park will sit on two acres of land that's been undeveloped in the Ft. Myers Villas neighborhood for decades.

Whan and his wife had been working for two years to get the funding for the park.  His goal seemed very far off until this week.

"We got a phone call from a Ft. Myers resident with a 15,000 dollar matched grant, just this past Wednesday," said Whan.

That matching grant came from the Galeana Foundation.  The momentum continued through the week and into Saturday, donations came in large and small.

"Someone was cleaning out their change in their ashtray and they said I have 8 kids, so this is all I could give right now, but we will be using that park, so that means everything."

Edison Auto Service owner Mark Cox also wants his kids to use the park, he donated $5,000.
 
"My wife said we need to put a swing set in our backyard.   I said, let's do one better than that, lets build one that everyone can enjoy."
 
By the middle of the day the goal was achieved, and for Whan, its personal.
 
He started Caleb's Crusade in 2009. The foundation raises money for families with children fighting cancer
Whan's son Caleb was just a few years old when he lost his  battle with leukemia.
 
"Up until two days before he passed, he was swinging on our backyard swing set, so he really lived life up the fullest right to end." 

Whan hopes to have the park up and running by early summer.