Phoenix Park footbridge 'River Lights' project to give back to t - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Phoenix Park footbridge 'River Lights' project to give back to the community


Eau Claire (WQOW)- A new name for new progress and new ambitions, the lighting project for the Phoenix Park Footbridge is now called river Lights.' Organizers are saying it could be the start for something much more.

The Eau Claire Rotary Club said Monday they have raised over $220,000 for the bridge lighting project, but the fundraising isn't complete yet. Organizers are still looking to raise another $30,000 to $50,000. The project is not going by the name 'River Lights' because organizers are hoping to expand, putting lights on other buildings and bridges around town.

Related Link: Phoenix Park Footbridge closes for new lighting project
Organizers said other than the evening performances where the lights will be choreographed to music, the lights will also be used to give back. The bridge can be changed to specific colors to raise awareness, like glowing pink for breast cancer awareness. Local organizations will also be able to pay for a sponsored light change. Then, the organization's information will be listed on the 'River Lights' website, and the money will go back in to the community.

"The sponsorships, once the bridge is complete, will go to community projects. So between DECI and Rotary, when somebody sponsors it, let's say with a $500 sponsorship for something on the bridge, that will directly go back in to community projects. So this bridge will be raising money for our community through sponsorships for the next 25, 30, 40 years. It will raise more in our community than we probably spent on the bridge, so it's kind of a win-win. We get a beautiful bridge that will actually be doing good in our community as well," said Pat Thoney with the Eau Claire Rotary Club.

The project organizers said their best guess is the lights will be completed by Labor Day. The performance aspect could take a few extra weeks or months.

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