After just over a year of fundraising, Beacon Hill Elementary school is ready to put in their playground over the weekend of Oct. 31 – Nov. 3. However, the school is currently short on volunteers and is looking for more to help finish up the project.
The project requires 15 volunteers every day for the four days. ATCO Gas has volunteered to fill one day.
“We’ve [currently] got about 35 of the 60, so we still need about 25 to fill those other days,” said Trevor Sanche, elementary school principal.
The schedule for each day is from 8 a.m. to about 7:30p.m. Volunteers can work part or full days and are needed for general labour, to provide food, do food preparation, set up and clean up. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring any useful tools they may have.
Sanche spoke about how the majority of the fundraising was done by the end of last year. He is amazed at what the committee has accomplished as he said fundraising for a project like this generally takes two to three years.
“This group fundraised in a year and we’ll have the park in a year,” he said.
Long before Beacon Hill was even open, the fundraising committee for the playground organized a variety of events over the course of last year. Parents on the committee got businesses and private people to donate small items like a haircut to the online auction.
“It got so they might have ten things going every three days. They brought in [approximately] $30,000 on that auction,” said Sanche.
Another event was a garage sale where Laebon Homes donated all their warehouse furniture and items for decorating show homes for sale. Other events included a magic show, bottle drives, a Christmas Bureau and sale. The committee raised close to $100,000.
“It was pretty intense. It was like a second job,” Sanche said of the experience.
The committee was aiming to have the playground in place before winter this year and they are ready to finish up the project.
“The only thing that would really stop us is if it gets really cold and the frost drops too low into the ground,” said Sanche of the timeline for getting the park in place by the beginning of next month.
The playground is planned to be highly accessible and is designed with a wood fibre surface, a wheel chair accessible teeter totter, buddy benches, Freedom and Disc Swings.
To volunteer please call 403-887-8455.