While the winners will not officially be announced until June 29, Paul Evans, general manager of the Keg Steakhouse & Bar, said it’s safe to say the Town of Oro Valley has won a $25,000 national grant.

Being listed in first place after voting expired around 9 p.m. on June 14, Oro Valley stands be one of 40 projects chosen nationwide as part of The Keg Steakhouse & Bar “Thanks a Million” campaign.

In celebration of being in business 40 years, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar started a national campaign to donate $1 million in grants. The campaign sought project proposals nationwide with plans to donate $25,000 to 40 programs.

Once the list of finalists came out on April 30, it was up to voters to select the project that would win in each region.

By voting online once a day, Oro Valley residents secured the grant that will fund the construction of an integrated and universally accessible playground for children with special needs in James D. Kriegh Park.

“Not only am I proud to work for a company that gives back to the community the way The Keg does, I’m happy to raise my kids in a community that comes together the way Oro Valley did,” said Evans. “Thanks a million to everybody who voted.”

The Oro Valley project was one of five proposals that made the final list in Arizona. At the end of May, the park project lagged behind in fourth place behind three finalists from Phoenix. After the first week of June, Oro Valley took over the top spot and never let go.

Ainsley Legner, director of Oro Valley parks, recreation, library and cultural resources, said the project was truly a community effort with groups such as the Kiwanis and Optimists helping.

“There are a lot of wonderful projects; we’re just thrilled the greater Oro Valley community got online and voted,” she said. “All kinds of people came to the table to make this a reality. It was truly a universal effort.”

The Town of Oro Valley currently has four parks, but there are not any integrated and universally accessible playgrounds located in close proximity. The closest accessibility-designed playground is at Christopher Columbus Park in Pima County, which is about 7.2 miles away. Other accessible playgrounds are up to 16 miles away.

Once the town receives the grant, it will have one year to complete the project.

Unofficial results:

Oro Valley wins $25,000 grant

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