GOSHEN — Thanks to a group of dedicated runners who endured cold, windy weather this past weekend, the Elkhart County Park and Recreation Board is $1,000 closer to rebuilding an observation tower that was destroyed in a fire set by vandals two summers ago.
The third annual Ox Bow Tower 5K Run/Walk drew 100 people Sunday afternoon who added to the board’s donation fund for the tower project. The fund now includes about $62,500, slightly more than a third of what the board needs to rebuild the tower in Ox Bow County Park. The wooden observation tower, constructed in 1972, was popular among families watching track meets at the park.
Members of the Two Rivers Running Club began raising money for the project shortly after the tower burned down in July 2010. The first two races yielded $9,000.
“We still have a long way to go, but efforts by the Two Rivers Running Club to hold this event and the community coming together to help rebuild is really important,” said Jerry Good, parks marketing coordinator. “It’s going to be through events like this and donations from the community that we get this done.”
Good said the park board would like to break ground on the tower project next spring if the fundraising goal is reached.