After three years of fundraising, Merrickville Public School is finally getting a new play structure. The school gym was full of squeals of delight when the parent council made the announcement to the students in an assembly on Thursday afternoon. “We did it,” parent council member, Michelle Traher, told the students. “We’re getting a playground for September!”

Over the past three years, parents and students have worked hard to raise the $45,000 needed to replace the tired 24 year-old play structure in the yard. The school organized a variety of fundraisers, including hot lunch days, paint nights, bottle drives, bake sales, a dance-a-thon, a spaghetti dinner, and silent auction, just to name a few. In March, they were still $20,000 away from their goal, but parent council decided to put their effort into one final push so they could get construction underway this summer. “With the help of generous donors, we have been able to make this a reality for the kids,” Michelle says.
The list of donors includes the Tallman Family, Monkman Concrete, Scotiabank, Run Merrickville, partners of Grenville Mutual Hunt & Dopson Insurance, and Justin Rice Insurance.

Michelle says they are also lucky to have the Upper Canada District School Board helping as well. “The UCDSB is coming in to do some major excavating and drainage on our playground,” Michelle says. “Because they will be there with the equipment doing the work already, they offered to do the ground preparation for us.” If they had to pay for that themselves, it would have cost another $25,000.

Construction will begin this summer and it should be ready for the kids to swing, jump and play on in September. The structure will be named the Betty MacDonald Memorial Playground, after a former teacher, volunteer and integral member of the Merrickville community.

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