The Evening Kiwanis Club of Delaware recently presented $10,000 in checks to St. Mary School for construction of an “all-inclusive” playground at the school.
The project will replace the aging St. Mary’s playground with a new and enlarged playground that will be all-inclusive and accessible not only to the St. Mary’s School children, but children from all over Delaware.
Once the Evening Kiwanis Club heard about the school’s plans and were shown concept drawings, club members identified ways to raise funds for the different features of the project – organized in two phases. The first step was to identify parts of the project that might be funded in part through grants and ways to locally raise monies through events like the club’s annual pancake brunch. The club submitted a grant request to the Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation last fall for $5,000 to help get the first phase of the project started so that it can be finished by the start of school next fall. In December, the foundation awarded the full amount requested.
At a recent St. Mary’s open house, the Evening Kiwanis Club presented two checks totaling to $10,000 to St. Mary’s School Principal Gina Stull. The first check for $5,000 was presented by Dick Brulotte, club member and Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation board member, on behalf of the foundation board. Sara Wilson, president of the Evening Kiwanis Club, also presented a $5,000 check to match the foundation’s award.
The two-phase design will not only replace the current big toy and swings, but also add an outdoor classroom area as well as garden plots for instructional purposes. The most important feature of the project is that the playground will be designed to be accessible to children of all ages and abilities, and will accommodate children with various special needs, according to the club. Once the playground opens, it will be one of two such all-inclusive playgrounds in Delaware.
The Evening Kiwanis Club’s commitment to this project extends beyond the initial $10,000 gift, club members say, and will include work to submit other grant applications to help fund the various parts of the project as well as other fundraising events.