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Playground fund nears halfway point

February 15, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK - A lot of progress has been made since last summer when the Hancock Elementary School PTA began the quest to replace the school's 30-year-old playground equipment.

"Our goal is $50,000, so we are nearing the halfway mark," said Kristen Robison who reported that more than $23,000 has been raised to date.

Hancock art teacher Elissa Twigg and Cecilia Fischer, a Hancock High School senior and advanced art student, have created a sign that reflects the fundraising progress.

Since last summer, a student-inspired playground design was chosen, based on student survey forms and their drawings of the ultimate playground.

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"We chose a company to work with - Custom Sports and Recreation of Boonsboro - a distributor for WOW playgrounds," Robison said.

She also met with MIHI of Washington County to get a greater understanding of what was needed to provide a playground for children of all ability levels including those with handicaps.

"They have offered their support for our project," Robison said.

The playground committee holds a general meeting once a month and meets several other times to plan and work on events and fundraisers.

Each month, the PTA sells brown bag lunches to area businesses to help fund the project without requiring the students to sell anything.

"We have also begun a corporate sponsorship program, inviting businesses to sponsor the playground a different levels," Robison said. "In return the businesses names will be listed on the entrance sign at the playground."

Other local businesses have chosen to buy an actual piece of playground equipment. A placard will be placed on each piece of equipment recognizing the donor's contribution.

"We are so pleased with the way our community is coming together and rallying around this playground," Robison said.

On March 2, the teachers are to present a special variety show called The Hancock Celebrity - patterned on American Idol, but more of a comedy.

A second spaghetti dinner benefit at the Park 'N Dine is planned for April 19. Teachers again will be the servers as they were in November at the first such event, which was a huge success.

A community yard sale event to benefit the playground is being planned for May along with a student walk-a-thon in the spring.

Students will begin selling RADA Cutlery and yard flags in March to help raise funds for their playground.

Booths were set up at area events, such as the Barge Bash, Canal Apple Days and the Halloween Parade.

All donations are tax deductible and can be sent to: Hancock Elementary School Playground Project, 290 W. Main S., Hancock, MD 21750.

Anyone who would like more information on the project can contact Kristen Robison, playground project chairwoman at 301-678-7768 or call the school at 301-766-8178.

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