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Walk for Joey's Park planned for Sunday, Oct. 14

Posted by Evan Allen  September 11, 2012 10:50 AM

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joey o'donnell day - sunday may 17 1987.jpg
Photo courtesy of Friends of Joey's Park and Joe O'Donnell
Sunday, May 17, 1987: “Joey O’Donnell Day” — a five mile walk-a-thon which raised money for a scholarship in honor of Joey O’Donnell. Over the next two years, there would be more walking and fundraising to build Joey’s Park. - caption courtesy of Friends of Joey's Park

A walk to raise money to rebuild Joey’s Park in Belmont is set for Sunday, Oct. 14, and organizers hope to collect $50,000.

Joey’s Park is a favorite play-space for Belmont families because it’s not a standard playground: its design was inspired by children’s drawings, and it was built in about a week by members of the town in 1989 in honor of Joey O’Donnell, who died at just 12 years old of cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes thick mucous to build up in the lungs and digestive track.

The park is on its last legs, and a group called the Friends of Joey’s Park has organized to rebuild it completely, with a new design that will, again, be inspired by children’s drawings.

The two-mile Oct. 14 walk is the first fundraiser planned. It is being organized by Belmont Partners in Play.

The entry fee for individuals is $10 and the entry fee for families is $20. Each participant is asked to raise money through pledges: the entry fee will go to cover the cost of the walk, and pledges will go directly to Joey’s Park.

All walkers will receive an “I love Joey’s Park” button. The first 400 children to register will receive a Walk for Belmont t-shirt. Walkers who collect $100 or more in pledges will be entered in a raffle to win prizes donated by local businesses.

The person who raises the most money will win an iPad donated by Belmont Savings Bank.

If you are busy on Oct. 14, you can register as a “virtual walker,” raising money and walking the two-mile route on your own time.

If walking is not your style, you can also sign up as a volunteer.

The walk will begin and end at Joey’s Park near the Winn Brook School. Sign in is 1 p.m. and the walk is at 2 p.m.

Sign up for the walk here.

For questions, call 508-314-0969 or email

Evan Allen can be reached at

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