Multiple Donations to the Local Community Build a Playground and Pay for Pet Adoption Fees | New

BENTON, Ill. (WSIL) – A town in Franklin County is cutting the ribbon for a new playground, thanks to generous donors.

Benton city officials welcomed a new neighborhood playground on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a donation from the Real Housewives of New York.

Streets and Public Improvement Commissioner Lee Messersmith said a plan was already in place to “plant” playgrounds throughout the community, creating safe spaces a bit closer to homes.

“We have a nice park in our community, but we don’t have neighborhood playgrounds,” Messersmith says. “About a year and a half ago (we) started trying to bring the companies together to make this happen. The reality show that’s in town with Sonja and Luann, they found out about it and they came and said, ‘Hey, let’s donate a playground – to kick off (the playground initiative).'”

Construction of the playground went fairly quickly, says Messersmith.

“It was delivered from Pennsylvania, it landed here Thursday, we had it installed Thursday afternoon, the concrete we’re standing on – our street service was installed yesterday, and we have to dedicate it today .”

The park is located at the corner of Grand Street and East Smith Street.

Local businesses also played a role, providing earthworks, tree maintenance services and a $10,000 Peoples Bank donation to Benton.

Pet adoption fees waived

Also taking place in Benton this weekend, an anonymous donor pays for all pet adoption fees from Franklin County Animal Control.

Officials told News 3 that the donor made an announcement on Facebook over the weekend, contacting Animal Control to say he would pay the $50 fee for an entire year.

Now anyone wishing to adopt is simply responsible for paying for spaying or sterilization.

Animal Control says they are nearly full, with over 30 dogs and 120 cats. They hope people will adopt these furry friends and give them a forever home.

You can learn more about how to start the adoption process on their website.


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