CONSTRUCTION could begin this fall on a playground at Spring Garden Elementary, the result of pupils' fund-raising and the community's generosity.
"It's incredible how hard people have worked," said Bonnie Lawson, who led a 27-member committee of parents, teachers and staff overseeing the selection and purchase of a playground.
The equipment was ordered June 25, after the school community raised $49,000.
The playground will be built after work is finished at Westminster's Winters Mill High School, which opens this school year.
The drive for a new playground began about 10 months ago after the community learned that the school's 10-year-old climbing structure and accessories had not passed insurance inspections and could not be repaired.
"Tax dollars are for instructional materials first. School systems no longer pay for playground equipment," Lawson said.
The committee approached neighbors, businesses and children to begin the daunting task of raising about $50,000.
The first fund-raiser was "Pennies for the Playground," which began when a child approached Lawson with $1.47 in pocket change. Penny collection jars gave every child a chance to become involved.
"The children collected more than $2,000 in change alone," Lawson said.
In the end, the committee received $1,000 from the Fields Homeowners Association, $5,000 from Hampstead, and local businesses contributed thousands.
In May, with pledges amounting to $49,000, but checks not expected until June, the committee encountered a cash-flow problem.
"Normal procedure is to raise every penny, then go out for bids. We were looking at a difference of 45 days to have the playground in place," Lawson said. Parent Cheryl Wahl approached the county commissioners during a public meeting, explained the problem, and left the three-member board with a promise of $9,500.
The cost is less than $40,000. The committee has created an account with the surplus funds to pay for maintenance and possible additions.
Key Club project
The Key Club of North Carroll High School is collecting school supplies for county children to be distributed with the help of Shepherd's Staff.
The supplies will be collected at the school, 1400 Panther Drive, Hampstead.
Items needed are composition books, boxes of 24 crayons, glue sticks, scissors, pocket folders, rulers, pencils, notebook dividers, three-ring binders and paper, highlighters, and colored pencils.
Monetary donations are welcome to help pay for shoes and backpacks.
Century bicycle ride
The Hanover Cyclers bicycle club is holding its 24th annual Labor Day Century bike ride Sept. 2.
The event will include the century ride of 100 miles, and rides of 67, 50 and 25 miles. Roads will be painted with directions and maps will be available.
The century ride will pass through the Gettysburg battlefield and through Fairfield, Cashtown and Biglerville (all in Pennsylvania) before returning to the starting point at South Street Recreation Park in McSherrystown, Pa.
Food stops, sag wagon patrols and a mechanic will be provided. Hot dogs, drinks, healthful snacks and ice cream will be served until 4 p.m.
Information is available at www.adventure-cycling.com/ hanover_cyclers.htm.
Pre-registration is encouraged. Children younger than age 16 are free. The cost is $12 before Aug. 21 and $18 after that. The ride begins at 6:30 a.m. and the event ends at 4 p.m.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.