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September 18. 2013 9:43PM

Volunteers needed to build Goffstown playground

GOFFSTOWN — The YMCA’s Allard Center is building a community playground to serve Manchester, Hooksett, Bedford, Dunbarton, Weare and New Boston, and is seeking help from residents.

Volunteers are needed Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, when the YMCA of Greater Manchester’s Allard Center Branch will be building the playground.

There are no playgrounds of this size or nature within the community, said Michele Sheppard, the Allard Center’s branch director.

The center anticipates it will need about 60 people. In addition to the Allard staff, the Goffstown Rotary Club and local police have offered their assistance on build day.

Volunteers are needed to help build the playground in several areas, including child care, food and snack preparation, unloading playground equipment, site preparation, registration, publicity, first aid, and building the playground. Volunteers are asked to consider a minimum three-hour commitment. Volunteers 16 years and older are welcome. Child care and food will be provided. Preregistration for child care is required.

“Children can’t help with the building of the playground so they will be kept busy with activities while their parents are helping with construction,” said Sheppard.

She said build day is a good opportunity for people to get to know their neighbors.

“We are excited to complete our dream of building a safe, local play area that can be used by local residents and community groups,” said Sheppard.

The area has an outdated and inadequate playground that was installed in 1994. Plans call for removing a metal slide, a metal jungle gym, a tether-ball and volleyball net, and concrete pads. The YMCA will renovate the area in several stages.

In November, the YMCA received a $15,000 challenge grant from Kaboom to encourage community donations for the playground project. Fundraising began in April.

“We’re required to raise additional funds for the project,” she said.

The estimated cost for the equipment is $40,000, not including site work and paths leading to the playground.

“This is a project that is for the entire community. We built the project so families of children with physical challenges can use the playground with their able-bodied peers,” said Sheppard.

The Allard Center is home to an annual summer camp program hosting 250-plus children per week from surrounding communities and also serves an after-school enrollment of 100 children daily.

The playground will be open to the public after normal camp hours and on weekends during the summer. During the school year, the playground will be open to the public on weekdays until 2 p.m., after 6 p.m., and on weekends. The playground may be used by playgroups, preschools and the public every morning.

For more information about donating, go to yogm.org.

To sign up to volunteer, contact Michele Sheppard by calling 232-8690, or email msheppard@yogm.org.

sclark@newstote.com


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