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Adirondack Carousel project moving forward

SARANAC?LAKE? The day when the Adirondack Carousel takes its first spin is getting closer. The Adirondack Carousel is planned to open 2009-2010. The Adirondack Carousel will be another tourist destination in Saranac Lake. We really believe it will benefit the local economy, said Karen Loffler, executive director of the Adirondack Carousel. The idea of an Adirondack Carousel began in 2001 when Loffler, a woodcarver, saw a miniature childrens carousel of woodland animals. Lofflers love of woodcarving and community combined with her creative approach to problem solving inspired her dream to build a carousel of native Adirondack wildlife in Saranac Lake. Plans for the Adirondack Carousel include 23 hand carved animals and one traditional wooden boat for handicap access. Housed in a heated pavilion for year round use, the pavilion will also include a community room and gallery to be used for educational programs and events. The community room will be available to the public for birthday parties and other gatherings. The carousel will be a place for families to gather; for grandparents to bring their grandchildren; it is for all to enjoy, said Loffler. After many months of talks between the village trustees and Loffler, the village has allocated the William Morris Park as permanent location for the Adirondack Carousel. After exploring several sites, The William Morris Park at the corner of Depot Street and Bloomingdale Avenue was chosen. An official operating agreement was signed in December of 2006 granting use of the park for the Carousel. If purchased, the park value was estimated at between $300,000-350,000. The granting of the William Morris Park has significantly the cost of completing the Carousel. Now present on the Adirondack Carousels website homepage is an artists rendering of the 3,600 sq. ft. timber frame pavilion that will house the carousel. The timber-frame pavilion captures the look and feel of the unique architectural style present in the Adirondack region. Carousel Board member, Rich Kraft, a wood carver, photographer and fine furniture maker is largely responsible for designing the pavilion. Approved as a not-for-profit in 2001, Loffler and a group of dedicated community members have worked to make the project a reality. Providing an economic boost for Saranac Lake has been in the forefront of the Adirondack Carousel. The group of carousel members identified a way to create a new tourist attraction. The Adirondack Carousel filled with forest wildlife will provide a unique attraction while providing education programs about the environment. With a location secured, the Adirondack Carousel is launching its capital campaign. To make the Adirondack Carousel a reality, organizers are under taking a $1.2 million fund-raising campaign to build a year-round 3,600 sq. ft. pavilion that will house the 28ft. carousel, art gallery, and community room, and include construction of an adjacent playground. A portion of the funds will be used to establish an endowment to ensure the future of the Carousel. The Adirondack Carousel is looking for additional board members to assist with all aspects of the project. The present board draws from working and retired individuals with a diverse array of backgrounds who share a strong sense of community and love of the Adirondacks. The Carousel is seeking active like-minded individuals who enjoy the challenges of a unique project. The Adirondack Carousel invites you to Join the Ride. The carousel is fast becoming a reality. Our small group has worked hard to make the dream come true, said Loffler. To learn more about the Adirondack Carousel and how to become a member, visit www.adirondackcarousel.org or call 891-9521

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