At 6 p.m. Friday, July 26, the new Harlem Community Playground will be dedicated in the park across from the Harlem Township Hall, after being installed last weekend by two dozen volunteers.
“We’ve raised around $50,000 to erect equipment for the playground,” said Gayle Paul, who served on the nonprofit playground committee. Paul said the playground replaces the little-used east baseball field next to the main ball diamond.
The township’s trustees gave site approval for the playground at their meeting on June 19. Paul thanked trustees Jerry Paul, Robert Singer and David Jackson; playground committee members Ed Valenska and Linda Skinner; and major donors Chuck and Karen Bachman for their help with the project.
New Albany-based Midstates Recreation oversaw the installation by the volunteers on what may have been the hottest day of the year on July 20.
The new playground features two slides, monkey bars and a swing set — and it’s just the first of two phases. The adjacent second phase will include a dome structure, Paul said. In addition, the playground is geared toward inclusion, regardless of a child’s abilities. As equipment manufacturer Playworld said in its promotional materials, “An inclusive playground is one where everyone who comes is challenged, welcomed, and has fun.”
Paul said the new playground will fill a need in the township, and she’s looking forward to seeing her grandchildren use it.
As for the second phase of the playground, Paul said the committee will be accepting donations during the annual Harlem Township Days Aug. 17-18
The Harlem Township Community’s Facebook states, “There’ll be lots to see and do during our two-day event including the tractors and antique farm equipment in the front of the park — plus the tractor pull on Saturday. For all of you who are new to the community, coming to Harlem Township Days is a good way to find out what this community has been — our heritage and for those of us who have been here all our lives — our soul.”
The event also includes a flower show put on by the Harlem Township Garden Club; the 4th annual Ken Buell Memorial Auction (on Saturday); a new play by the Curtain Players (on Saturday); and the Duncan’s Run Car Show (on Sunday).
Harlem Township Heritage said it needs five volunteers for the event.
There are a couple fundraisers for the Harlem Township Days. One is the Duncan’s Run Bicycle Patch Ride, the ninth of which was put on July 6. The annual bike ride starts and finishes at the Beltz Retreat on Harlem Road; and goes to Gorsuch Road; St. Rt. 605; Duncan Run; and Center Village, County Line and Woodtown roads.
The other fundraiser is chicken noodle dinners, typically held monthly (fall-spring) on Fridays from 4-7 p.m. at the Grange Hall, 12900 Center Village Road. For a donation, they serve up homemade noodles with chicken or beef; with mashed potatoes; green beans with bacon; choice of salad, roll and butter; homemade desserts and drinks. You can dine-in or carry-out.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community-Organization/Harlem-Township-Community-127550793930780/.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.