The Palkovic family’s lives were forever changed on April 22, 2012. Little 16-month-old Sienna passed away unexpectedly, in an event known by doctors as SUDC, or “Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood”. In honor of Sienna’s memory, the Palkovic family was inspired to renovate Rolling Hills Park to commemorate the precious moments they shared together there. Their plan for the park proposes a plethora of revitalizations, including new ground cover, tree plantings, new seating areas, and upgrades to comply with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, among many other changes.

Jennifer Palkovic added, “Our mission, with the community’s support, is to raise $200,000 for new play equipment and some landscaping to beautify the park. The entire project will cost much more than that. The City has teamed up with us to do this collaborative renovation.”

In order to catalyze financing of the park’s reinvigoration, Sienna’s PlayGarden is holding its first fundraiser, a 5K run/walk, on Sunday, Sept. 8 at De Anza Cove in Mission Bay. The race begins at 9 a.m., with registration for adults costing $35, and registration for children three years of age and over costing $20 (children ages three and under are free, but fees go up $5 each on the day of the event). Registration fees pay for a t-shirt and admission to post race events, such the Kids Zone, which includes activities, games and prizes for children of all ages. Music for the event will be performed by the children’s band Hullaballoo and DJ Russ. Prizes will be awarded to the top three male/female timed runners, and sponsorship packages ranging from $100 to $5000 are available for purchase. Sienna’s PlayGarden hopes that the 5K run/walk will be the first in a successful series of fundraisers to help turn Rolling Hill’s Park into the beautified, nature-themed gathering place that the project envisions.