It’s been two and a half years since fundraising began for the Ponoka Elementary School (PES) playground and planners are ready to start construction at the end of August.
Layna Palechek is the co-organizer of the PES Playground Redevelopment Project and after receiving $20,000 from Ponoka Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) — the committee received a total of $30,000 from FCSS — the group is even closer to having everything needed to get construction started.
Palechek said they are still fundraising to try and bring a complete set of amenities to the fully accessible playground. The installation work isn’t going to be easy, so the committee is bringing together playground company PlayWorks, Galloway Construction and Almita Piling to help with the specialty playground equipment installation.
Getting to this point is something Palechek is grateful for. She commends all the companies, individuals and community organizations for their dedication to the project. “I was really surprised at the level of support that they have shown (to) this project.”
Some of the memorable fundraising events included ATB’s Outlaw Roundup, $25,000; duelling pianos, $36,000 and a hockey fundraiser at $10,000. There have also been several large, anonymous donations that Palechek says she is grateful for as well.
Not only have members of the community been strong supporters but PES students have given money to the project. “There’s been tooth fairy money brought to us.”
Over the entire project strong community connections have been made and Palechek is pleased to see that the Rotary Club of Ponoka and staff from ATB Financial are planning to help with the installation. She added there may be a need for volunteers to help for one or two days.
Anyone wishing to help during the installation can call Palechek at 403-785-7776 or Jennifer Bartley at 403-704-0914.