Efforts to raise money for the Highview Playground Restoration continued on Saturday at the Pathmark in Nanuet where young volunteers sought donations from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The volunteers assembled a table near the Pathmark entrance displaying design plans for the new playground, advertisements for future fundraising events, the now familiar yellow buckets and forms for the purchase of personalized brick pavers.
This is the second consecutive Saturday that volunteers have assembled to collect donations.
“If we do well today, we hope to continue collecting donations every Saturday,” said Donald Franchino, fundraising chair and volunteer.
This week’s young volunteers were fifth graders Jenna, Stephanie and Michael Franchino, and seventh graders Laura Franchino and Morgan Gilliams. Carrying donation buckets, they collected donations from shoppers entering and exiting Pathmark and offered free fireworks to children of donees.
When asked what attracted him about the new Highview playground design, Michael Franchino answered, “You can do anything there. Have a catch. Ride on the swings. That’s what I like about the playground.”
The steering committee designed the new playground to be accessible and entertaining to all children, including children with special needs.
“We have several representatives on the steering committee who want to make sure the park is handicap accessible," said Steering Committee Member Jim Flynn. "It doesn’t just meet state requirements, it exceeds them. People are welcome to contact the committee and share ideas to make the playground as accessible as possible.”
Pathmark shoppers responded generously to the young volunteers’ efforts.
“My kids are done, but why not. It’s for the kids,” said Collette McCabe.
“I will be bringing my great grandchildren to the playground," said Elizabeth Lavigne, a shopper who has worked in the Nanuet Schools for 30 years. "I am quite thrilled it is going back up.”
With small contributions from community members like the Pathmark shoppers and generous contributions from local businesses, the Highview Playground Restoration has collected more than $50,000 in donations, but is still short in funds to reach its $185,000 target.
In an effort to meet its target, the steering committee organized a “Help Rebuild Highview Playground” Rummage Sale for July 30 and 31 at the Highview Playground site. They also scheduled a golf tournament for September 19 at Blue Hill Golf Course in Orangetown. More information on these and other future fundraising efforts is available at www.HighviewPlayground.com.