Two years of hard work, dedication and fundraising have paid off as the playground at Beacon Hill Elementary School has officially opened.
Though the playground apparatus has been in use since that fall, the school held a grand opening for the students, sponsors and the public on June 7.
The grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was held outside, the first of what Beacon Hill Principal Trevor Sanche called an outdoor assembly.
The assembly was held in the shadow of the new playground.
“It’ll be even better once the new grass comes in for September,” said Sanche.
The fundraising was done through the school’s fundraising committee, with the majority being completed before the school opened its doors.
Sanche spoke about his amazement at the dedication of the committee and the time it took to raise the money.
“I am proud to be standing here today celebrating the hard work cooperation and dedication of so many people that has gone into making a new play structure a reality
The fundraising committee organized a variety of events over the course of a year before the school was even open. Fundraisers like a garage sale from Laebon Homes, an online auction, bottle drives and even a magic show raised close to $100,000 for the new playground.
The 2017 Polar Dip brought in over $15,000 for the new playground, and saw Mayor Sean McIntyre and Coun. Jas Payne taking the plunge dressed as superheroes.
The playground was supposed to be installed between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3 of last year, but poor weather caused some delays.
“I want to thank all those who came out to put together the playground, and suffered through some pretty terrible weather,” said Jennifer Belanger, vice-chair of the fundraising committee.
Belanger was the chair of the committee, and spearheaded many of the fundraisers for the play ground.
She thanked everyone who helped and supported the efforts to have the playground built for the students.
She said it wasn’t the just the largest donors who mattered. Each person who helped and gave to the cause was the reason the playground now stands at Beacon Hill Elementary School.
“A really important thing to know it that the playground was built dollar for dollar,” Belanger said. “It wasn’t necessarily by the largest sponsors but by every dollar that came in made a big difference.”
Some of the major donors to the playground received a special plaque as a thank you. The plaque is of a tree with the leaves made up of the finger prints of some of the students.
“I look forward to the years on this playground and watching [the children] grow,” Belanger said.
Children at Beacon Hill elementary School have been playing on the play structure since the end of November, 2017.
The structure had to go through two inspections after the playground was finally finished on Nov. 15, 2017.
MEGAN ROTH - Sylvan Lake News, June 12, 2018