Lakeview to get new playground equipment

by Rhonda Cooper

Lakeview Elementary School will soon reap the benefits of fundraising efforts as the first of two new playground structures will be installed this spring.

“The school opened in 1991,” said principal Dawn Paylor. “We have made additions to the playground but the two main wooden structures are original.”

Weather and time have taken their toll on the playground equipment. Starting in the 2007-2008 school year, Lakeview began taking 15-20 per cent of the money realized through fundraising and put it into a separate playground equipment account.

Prior to the start of the 2011-2012 school year, Paylor and vice principal Davin Hildebrand met with the school community council where it was decided the year’s focus would be on the replacement of the playground equipment. SCC president Laura Fechter began researching possible structures. The choices were narrowed down to two, one for each side of the playground, which came with a price tag of almost $100,000.

It was quickly realized fundraising alone would delay the purchase of the equipment so other avenues were explored.

“With the grants we’ve received, we are about two-thirds to our goal,” said Hildebrand. “The key to obtaining them (the grants) was to show how the equipment would benefit not just the school but the community. It’s not like it’s in our gym. It’s outside for everyone to use.”

Innovation Credit Union’s district manager Cliff McKay (back left) presents Grade 3 students Dakota Wilson, Marcus Wahpistikwan and Kolton Wolverine with a $500 cheque for new playground equipment at Lakeview Elementary School in Meadow Lake. Vice principal Davin Hildebrand and principal Dawn Paylor also took part in the Jan. 25 presentation.

Paylor added the playground is a popular place for children of all ages from all areas of the city.

The community vitality grant – a matching grant and a city grant through the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association were successfully obtained bringing the fund’s total to more than $67,000. Some of this year’s fundraising events have included monthly hot lunches at the school, pancakes with Santa, admission donations to the Christmas concert and the sale of Lakeview bracelets as well as monetary donations from the city’s businesses, parents and grandparents.

“The city’s businesses have also been very supportive of our efforts,” said Paylor.

The SCC is gearing up for its largest fundraiser to date and that is the womanless beauty pageant. Nine local men from all different professions have agreed to compete in the beauty contest. All but the swimsuit portion of a regular beauty contest will be part of the evening’s entertainment.

“Nicole Munroe has spent hours thinking about this event,” said Lawrence Sinclair, Lakeview’s community school coordinator. “She is the one who approached the men to take part and there are doctors, dentists, chiropractors, EMTs, parents, RCMP and principals participating. It is a fun family evening.”

The first piece wooden structure is on order and installation will take place in the spring on the west side of the grounds. The goal is to have the remaining money raised so the second piece for the east side can be ordered in the fall and installed in the spring of 2013.

“We’ve come a long way from last June,” said Sinclair.

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