Baker Produce donates money for Carousel of Dream's mechanical portion

Baker Produce of Tri-Cities has donated the mechanism that will allow the Carousel of Dreams to operate at the Southridge Sports & Events Complex in Kennewick.

The business donated the full cost of the new mechanism, built by CarouselWorks.com of Ohio.

Eric Van Winkle, chairman of the Three Rivers Carousel Foundation board, said that makes them a premium-level sponsor. The company asked that the amount of the donation not be released, he said.

Carousel foundation decided to get a new mechanical portion to increase the reliability and reduce maintenance concerns.

Construction on the 102-year-old Carousel of Dreams presented by Gesa Credit Union started a month ago.

The entire project will cost the community about $4 million since the project began about 11 years ago, including the initial purchase of the horses and the $2 million building.

"The carousel is something that will live on for generations," Al Janke, Baker Produce general manager, said in a statement. "I, for one, am very excited to be able to enjoy it with my five grandchildren."

The carousel, with its three rows of bobbing horses, will be open year-round. Hours, however, will be seasonal. Cost of one ride will be about $3. It is expected to open later this year.

For more information or to donate, go to www.carouselofdreams.net. The phone number for the carousel will be 509-585-8800.