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.

Oro Valley remained in first place after online voting expired around 9 p.m. on June 14.

The town's submission stands to be one of 40 programs chosen nationwide as part of The Keg Steakhouse & Bar's “Thanks a Million” campaign. To celebrate being in business for 40 years, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar started a national campaign to donate $1 million in grants. The campaign sought project proposals from communities nationwide with plans to donate $25,000 to 40 programs.

The list of finalists was revealed on April 30. Then it was up to voters to select the project that would win in each region. B y 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.

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.During the first week of June, Oro Valley took over the top spot and never let go.

“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 Town of Oro Valley currently has four parks, but there are no 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.

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