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ELAINE—The City of Elaine has received a $5,000 grant from Southern Financial Partners toward construction of a children’s basketball court for the city park, SFP Senior Vice President Joe Black announced today.

The total budget for the project is $10,000. SFP’s grant will be used to match a $5,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The project will add a basketball court exclusively for children ages 6 to 13. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and be complete by the fall. Elaine is a city of 865 people located in Phillips County.

Two men at check presentation outside

Mayor Webster (right) accepting the $5,000 grant check from SFP Community Development Officer Michael Boone (left) with Elaine Park in the background.

“Because of the popularity of basketball at Elaine Park, the existing basketball court is used to capacity by older children and adults,” Black said. “This basketball court will give younger children an opportunity to play on the south end of the park next to the playground and pavilion.”

Elaine Mayor Lucien Webster said the city has a tradition of providing quality recreational activities for youth, but the city’s ability to provide such services has been limited. In 2005, the city acquired 1 acre of land for the park and received a three-year $25,000 matching grant from the state Department of Parks and Tourism to equip the park with a basketball court, pavilion, picnic benches and tables, and a playground.

“The funding of this proposal will allow the city to invest money in proper maintenance equipment for the park,” Webster said. “We are grateful to Southern Financial Partners for providing the matching grant to make this project a reality.”

Contact: Joe Black (870) 816-1113