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'Penny for Playground to help replace LES equipment

Posted: October 5, 2010 1:50 p.m.
Updated: October 6, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Thanks to a new fundraising project, a goal of raising $40,000 to replace aging playground equipment at Lugoff Elementary School (LES) could become a reality within the next year.

LES’ Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is trying to raise the money and, says PTO Vice President Kim Taylor, believes it can do so with its new Pennies for Playground fundraiser.

“The PTO is always looking for ways to improve the school. And with the number (of students at LES) growing so quickly, the students have outgrown the playground equipment. It’s gotten pretty old,” Taylor said. “But the idea behind the Pennies for Playground fundraiser is to have kids bring spare change in as sort of a class competition.”

PTO President Beth Almond said the playground equipment at LES is probably more than 20 years old, as several parents on the PTO even recall playing on the equipment when they attended the elementary school.

Almond said $40,000 will replace the playground equipment on both of the schools playgrounds -- particularly a jungle gym located on the first through fifth grade playground.

“The kids are so excited right now ... and the parents are too,” Taylor said. “We really wanted to do this quickly so that the students who are spending so much time raising the money will actually get an opportunity to enjoy the new playground.”

Right now, the PTO has set aside $4,000 to be placed in their “playground savings account.” However, with various other fundraisers the school has been doing, coupled with the PTO’s decision to open up the Pennies for Playground fundraiser to the community, Taylor said she believes they stand a pretty good chance of raising the money.

“NBSC (National Bank of South Carolina) has a drive there, and there’s a drive at Wateree Ace Hardware in Lugoff, and another one in the front office of the school,” Taylor said. “We’re hoping that maybe parents, alumni or grandparents will want to help us raise the money.”

Although Taylor said the $40,000 would give them a really good start, they still plan to add to the playground in the future.

“We’ve done a fundraiser already, and we’re still looking to do more things,” Taylor said. “We’ve got a lot of things going on right now. Forty thousand dollars is our goal right now, and we’re hoping to hit it. We’re just doing it one baby step at a time.”

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