Exciting opportunities come with Ober Park raffle

The winning ticket for a stay on a houseboat in Amsterdam will be drawn on Valentine’s Day.

We’re pumped about the adult-friendly vision for Ober Park — and also about how the Senior Center is raising the cash to help pay for it. We’re lucky enough to have experienced both the raffle prize and the ultimate goal.

An expat-heavy Mexican town we visited two years ago had an all-ages playground. We especially enjoyed the double swings and a device that made you feel like you could cover ten feet in one stride. The simple, intuitive equipment engaged multiple muscle groups in a low-impact way, while all around us the kids were having their own fun.

Then last year we stayed on the True Love, the Amsterdam houseboat that the Senior Center raffle winner will visit. After breakfast on the outdoor deck, we’d stroll the city or catch a train (only a ten-minute walk) west to the beach, north to a picturesque village on the Zuider Zee, or south to a Utrecht museum featuring antique musical automata ranging from hand-held to wall-sized. The evening found us back on the deck nursing a cocktail made from one of the 2,359 exotic gins the Dutch love so much, watching the locals float past in their own version of cruising a 1950’s drive-in burger joint. The True Love is downright luxurious, and in all our travels we’ve never encountered such serenity only two blocks from the heart of the action.

A $50 raffle ticket purchased either at the Senior Center or Ober Park is all it takes. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the winning ticket for the True Love stay will be drawn on Valentine’s Day. Whether or not you win the raffle, you’ll win a new recreation spot in the heart of town!

— Cindy and Jeff Hoyt