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Joyland restoration group to hold fundraiser

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Sep. 13, 2012, at 9:21 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at 12:47 p.m.


Joyland timeline

1947 – Brothers Harold and Herb Ottaway and their father, Lester Ottaway, buy a 40-acre tract of land in south Wichita and open Joyland Amusement Park. Attractions include a miniature train and wooden roller coaster.

1970s – Stan and Margaret Nelson – now Margaret Spear – buy the park.2004 – Joyland closes.

2006 – New operators reopen the park for a season, but lawsuits and noise complaints prevent the park from opening the next year.

July 13, 2010 – Stan Nelson dies.

March 2011 – Alex East starts the Joyland Restoration Project, a grassroots effort to purchase and renovate the park.

June 2012 – Restore Hope receives its nonprofit status.

More information about Restore Hope and the Joyland Restoration Project is available at www.joylandrestorationproject.org. Details on the project and donating are also on Facebook.

Wichita natural foods market Food for Thought is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit seeking to revive Joyland Amusement Park.

Carnival games and a silent auction will dominate the day’s activities, set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 22 at the store, 2929 E. Central, near Hillside. The money goes to the Joyland Restoration Project, local nonprofit Restore Hope’s first restoration initiative.

Volunteers from the group will be onsite that Saturday to answer questions and discuss plans to purchase and renovate the park, which Restore Hope leaders estimate will cost about $10 million.

Joyland T-shirts and merchandise also may be purchased or ordered at the fundraiser.

The park, which recently has drawn arsonists and vandals, closed in 2006. Restore Hope, devised in 2011 by Wichita teen Alex East, is focusing on grassroots fundraising efforts and its social media presence to raise money and gain support for the project.

For more, call Food for Thought at 316-683-6078 or e-mail Restore Hope board vice president Kira Johnson at kjohnson@joylandrestorationproject.org. Details on the Joyland project, including ways to donate, are available at www.joylandrestorationproject.org or on Facebook.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/amyreneeleiker.

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