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Ann Arbor's Eberwhite Elementary kicks off community campaign for new play structures

Students pose on Eberwhite's current play structure (Credit: Eberwhite Elementary)

ANN ARBOR – Eberwhite Elementary School is turning to the community to raise funds for two new play structures on its grounds. 

On May 17, the school is holding a Play-A-Thon from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the entire Ann Arbor community. Meet your neighbors and enjoy food trucks, music by Joe Reilly, face painting and more at Ann Arbor's biggest play date and last hurrah for the old structures.

According to the event's Facebook page:

"Nearly thirty years ago, this community came together to build a playground that became the heart of Eberwhite. For nearly two generations, children have experienced the wonders of fun, imagination, and friendship.

"While these well-loved structures have served Eberwhite and the broader Ann Arbor community, it’s time that we rebuild for the future. It's time to bring our playground up to current safety and accessibility standards in order to serve generations to come."

The school's fundraising theme is "Building on the past. Building for the future." New York-based Play By Design Inc. is designing the new structures. The firm specializes in inclusive, safe and affordable play structures. Its designers and building consultants pair with community volunteers to construct the playgrounds. 

Ready... Set... GO! Play-A-Thon Race is on!

Ready, set, go! The Eberwhite Play-A-Thon race to $5,000 begins NOW! If you haven't, set up your personal fundraising page now by going to eberwhiteplayathon.causevox.com!

Posted by Eberwhite Elementary on Wednesday, May 1, 2019

More than 2,500 local volunteers will be needed to help build the structures in late summer in order to celebrate the grand opening in October. Organizers estimate the cost of materials will be $400,000. As of today, more than $100K has been raised.

"The Eberwhite Elementary school’s steering committee for this project purposely chose a community-based playground project to spotlight how important we believe community is to all we do at the school," Bill Harris, the principal of Eberwhite Elementary School, said in a statement.

"Our current playground was built around the same concept, and this approach allows us to honor that bit of heritage while also embracing a long-term vision for the future. We are excited to involve students, parents, neighbors, local businesses and more."

The Play-A-Thon will be the first of several fundraising efforts throughout the year, including house parties, community events and a student-led coin drive. 

To see updates on the project or make donations, please visit the campaign's website and Facebook page.

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