City Council Members Contribute Funds to Honor Mayor Riley at Waterfront Park
Current and former Charleston City Councilmembers have collaborated to donate $10,000 from their personal funds to the Charleston Parks Conservancy to establish a tribute to Charleston Mayor Joe Riley’s 40 years of service to the City of Charleston at the newly renamed Joseph P. Riley Jr. Waterfront Park.
Current Councilmembers Keith Waring and Bill Moody led the effort, asking those who served with Riley on Charleston City Council to contribute. The gift was announced at Tuesday’s Charleston City Council meeting – the last meeting for Riley as mayor as he retires next month. In November, Charleston City Council renamed Waterfront Park for Riley, whose leadership brought to life the internationally renowned park in 1990. A number of former members of city council joined current council members to present the gift.
Waring and Moody are working with a citizens committee that will invite the park’s original landscape designer, Stu Dawson of Sasaki and Associates, to collaborate on the design of a tribute honoring Riley in the park.
“Exactly what form the commemoration will take remains to be determined,” Waring said, “but we want it to fit seamlessly into the park and be an appropriate way to honor the service to our city of Mayor Joe Riley, whose leadership has touched every area of Charleston and whose vision created the incomparable Riley Waterfront Park.”
Moody thanked those current and former members of Charleston City Council who contributed to the initiative.
“Serving this city with Mayor Joe Riley has been an honor for all of us, and when we asked for contributions to establish a commemoration, the response was immediate,” he said.
The $10,000 raised will help establish a fund at the nonprofit Charleston Parks Conservancy, to be matched by additional funds raised in the community. The cost of the commemoration will be fully funded with private donations to the Conservancy’s Riley Waterfront Park Fund. The total cost is unknown at this time, and it is anticipated that significant additional funds will be needed to complete it.
Tax-deductible contributions to the fund should be sent to: Charleston Parks Conservancy, Attn: Riley Waterfront Park Fund, PO Box 21000, Charleston, SC 29413 or donate online.
The design process for the commemoration will begin in early 2016.
“Once we know what kind of commemoration we would like to install and how much it will cost, we will set a private fundraising goal,” Waring said. “Current and former members of City Council were excited to kick off the fundraising for this commemoration. With the generous support of all of those in our community who have benefitted from Mayor Joe Riley’s leadership, Joseph P. Riley Waterfront Park will have a commemoration honoring his vision and hard work for our city, which has been unprecedented in Charleston’s 345-year history.”