The current Elsmere elementary playground.
Photo by Marcy Velte.
BETHLEHEM Residents of one Bethlehem hamlet will soon be able to show off their neighborhood pride as the first Elsmere Community Day is set to be held on Saturday, June 16.
Meant to raise funds for the purchase of a new playground for the students of Elsmere Elementary, the event will include a silent auction and a day filled with family fun activities.
“The Elsmere PTA is so appreciative of all the community support we have already received, and we hope through this event that we can raise $20,000,” said Amy Cohen, co-vice president of the Elsmere PTA Playground Committee.
Cohen first presented the plan to purchase a new playground for students at a PTA meeting in January, along with Co-Vice President Robyn Holstein. The playground is nearly 20 years old, with some areas nearing 40 years old, and some portions do not meet current safety guidelines. There’s also only one play element for children with disabilities.
The group is hoping to raise $100,000 over the next two years so construction on the playground can begin in the summer of 2013. If the full amount cannot be raised by that time, the plan will be scaled down so at least upgrades can be made. Holstein and Cohen said the plan is to raise $25,000 from the school community, apply for $65,000 in grants and seek an additional $10,000 in donations from local businesses and residents.
Cohen previously said seeing the support coming from the community has been heartwarming and the hope is residents will see the community day as a way to join in on the effort in a more meaningful way then just donating money.
The group has been fundraising since February. A letter was sent home to parents seeking help with various fundraising projects and donation cans have been placed in businesses throughout town. Movie nights, fitness days and a hair cut benefit with Elsmere hairdresser Samara Bartula have also scheduled.