MODESTO — Backers are closing in on the $1 million needed to build a half-mile trail in west Modesto.
The total stood at $897,924 late last week and could reach the goal with help from an anonymous benefactor who will match remaining donations 2-to-1.
The Helen White Memorial Trail, named for the late west Modesto community leader, would run on a former canal bank between Maze Boulevard and California Avenue. Right now, it is a trash-strewn eyesore.
"The matching offer is just what we needed to reach our $1 million goal," said Carole Collins, program manager for the Stanislaus Multi-Cultural Community Health Coalition and West Modesto King- Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative. "We're almost there. We just need to raise $102,076 more."
The trail would provide a safe, landscaped route for pedestrians and bicyclists, including students at Franklin Elementary School, Mark Twain Junior High School and Modesto High School. It would have lighting, call boxes, a perimeter wall and other security features.
Donations have ranged from $830 in pennies collected by Franklin students to $200,000 from Kaiser Permanente in support of West Modesto's HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Zone initiative.
Save Mart CARES recently pledged $25,000, which became $75,000 with the 2-for-1 match.
"If people want to make their donations count, the match triples the amount of their contribution," Collins said.
Other partners include the City Ministry Network, Second Baptist Church, Maze Small Animal Hospital, Stanislaus County, Modesto City Schools, civic clubs, family foundations and the Modesto police, fire and recreation departments.
To help with the trail project, call Carole Collins at (209) 522-6902.