NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Fundraising efforts in support of restoring the Tuscora Park carousel have received a boost from the New Philadelphia Rotary Club. The organization has made a gift of $5,000 to RTY, Inc., the not-for-profit organization that operates and maintains the carousel and other amusement rides at Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia.

"Our club has a long tradition of support for Tuscora Park with gifts of money, labor, and leadership," according to Jim Marks, club president. "The carousel is the heart of our Park and the members of the New Philadelphia Rotary Club want to help ensure it remains safe and secure for many decades to come."

The Rotary Club's gift will help RTY obtain the $57,000 in total donations it's seeking at this time to fund a major mechanical and electrical upgrade to the almost 90-year-old carousel. RTY president Carey Gardner of New Philadelphia said repair work will begin in the weeks ahead.

"Although we have a long way to go, RTY has received enough in donations to enable us to move ahead with the new drive system and make electrical upgrades," Gardner said. "This work is necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the carousel and to replace more than 400 lights and wiring that is decades old."

Gardner says donations are coming in to the RTY office at Tuscora Park every week, but the Rotary's gift is the largest yet received for the carousel project.

"I've been a Rotary Club member for a long time, but I didn't anticipate this size of a gift when it was discussed at recent meetings," Gardner said. "Our local service clubs, fraternal clubs, and civic groups have always supported Tuscora Park and I'm proud Rotary has set the bar high with its generous gift."