Community celebrates new playground
Maddie Gaudio, 2, Luke Mayberry, 3, and Ella Starkey, 4, were among the children taking some new playground equipment in Foldens Park for a test drive during the second annual Foldens Fun Day fundraiser on Saturday. The new $60,000 playground structure was dedicated during the event. JOHN TAPLEY/INGERSOLL TIMES
Foldens' new playground was dedicated during the community's second annual Fun Day fundraiser in Foldens Park on Saturday.
The $60,000 structure went from dream to reality in about two years through a community driven initiative, with money raised through meat sales, a bottle drive, a mums to mums sale, grants, donations and other volunteer efforts.
“There's no feat too big to accomplish once your put your mind to it,” said Genevieve Soos, a Foldens resident and member of the committee that led the charge for the new playground.
The effort began with resident Sheena Wiley noticed there was a need for a new playground in the community.
She put together a community flier and petition seeking others interested in making something happen.
“There was nothing really (for the kids) to do,” she said about what motivated her to take action.
Wiley said a lot of hard work and a lot of support went into getting the playground in place and noted that some of the donations toward it came from neighbouring communities, including Sweaburg.
She said the Township of South West Oxford had been “amazing.”
“It feels pretty good,” said Wiley about seeing children enjoying themselves on the new playground on Saturday.
Mitch Kirby, chair of the Foldens Hall Board, said the playground came about in part because a lot of young people have moved into the village and “got active.”
“The whole community's got re-energized,” he said.
Kirby noted that besides the new playground structure, minor baseball has returned to the park after an absence of several years.
While expanding the playground in the future is a possibility, Kirby said the committee is focused on other things for now.
“We have a lot of other stuff around the park to do,” he said.
Those other things include a pavilion and revamping what is already in the park.
With that in mind, Foldens Fun Day fundraisers will continue.
“We're going to keep it going,” Kirby said.
Good., awesome, great for kids, were some of the words nine-year-old Owen Lively used to describe the new playground while he was gliding back and forth on a swing.