Students at École Willow Point have a brand-new playground to play on thanks to a rigorous fundraising effort by the school’s Parent Advisory Council.
The old, 15-year-old playground was due to be replaced and was taken down over the summer holidays.
Aware that the playground would be taken down, the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) sprung into action and raised approximately $50,000 over two and a half years said Willow Point PAC president Sonya Tipper.
“We did all the fundraising and tried to get 100 per cent return for the parts,” Tipper said. “We had a lot of corporate sponsors and we held a very successful fun fair at the school.”
The Family Fun Fair, which was held in June with the help of more than 60 parents and volunteers, saw a turnout of 400 people and raised enough money to enable the PAC to to add a couple of extra pieces of equipment to the playground, such as the Eagles Perch which is a climbing dome.
Other fundraising events included a Christmas expo, a bake sale, bottle drive, Halloween Dance, penny drive, a portrait fundraiser, a raffle, move night, Thrifty Foods Smile cards, a garage sale and a direct donation campaign.
The playground was installed by PAC members and other parent volunteers, including employees of Investors Group from Campbell River and Courtenay, last Friday, under the leadership of Mark Suttle of Suttle Recreation. The company was chosen after a review of 10 companies to design the playground (a six month process) which is aimed at challenging children ages five to 12.
The playground includes two slides – one designed for kids to climb up – a wave climber, a spin disk, a zip line, and an inclined rock climber.
The design also incorporates one of the most popular pieces of playground equipment out there – a skyrunner, which is a hanging merry-go-round.
Instead of having their feet on the ground, kids grab onto to the top of the spinner while their feet hang down.