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Ballston Spa benefit boosts playground fund

FANS is selling pickets that can be stamped with a name for $60 a piece (or $50 for two or more) to be built into the playground. The last day to purchase a picket is Tuesday, April 15.

They will also be selling canvas for children's handprints for $30 a piece. Parents can purchase a canvas during FANS' events, and have their child put a handprint on the canvas with their name to be built into the park.

Construction on the park will begin regardless of whether the group's fundraising goal has been met.

"We really are a varied, varied group," said Dianne Burke, fundraising coordinator for FANS of the volunteers who have helped in pursuing the playground.

While several community members have come together to support the project through volunteering countless hours, businesses and organizations have shown their support by sponsoring pieces of the playground.

O'Brien's Pharmacy, where a thermometer of fundraising progress is hanging in the window of the storefront on the corner of Milton Avenue, donated $2,000 toward a treehouse for the playground.

The Eagle Matt Lee and Union Fire Company each donated $1,000 to place two fire truck play sets in playground.

Other features of the playground include a sensory walkway and therapeutic swings, which are handicap accessible.

FANS has also incorporated some of the village's history into the playground, like a trolley play toy to represent the trolley, which ran from Schenectady to the village to Saratoga Springs until December 1941.

Children and community members designed the playground during a workshop Thursday, Nov. 29, with the help of Leathers and Associates, a custom design playground company out of Ithaca. The park effort began more than three years ago after a group of residents looked at ways to improve recreational facilities in the village.

Kelley Park, which is adjacent to the municipal pool, and houses a pavilion, small play set, skate park and nature trail, is located on Ralph Street in the village.

"It will be a great use of the space," said Andy Manion who is organizing volunteer efforts for the playground.""

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