Parents Hope to Build on Town Appropriation for Playground

Manning, Parker lead fundraising effort

By Cary Shuman

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If all goes according to the plan, the William P. Gorman/Fort Banks School will have new playground equipment this fall that will meet the recreational needs for more students at the school.

Dawn Hagan Manning, co-president of the school’s PTO, and Kelly Gaughan Parker, PTO member, said they’re grateful to the town for appropriating $30,000 in next year’s budget toward a safe and updated playground. But they’re now taking their goals for the playground area to the next level.

Manning and Parker are leading a fundraising campaign at the school to match the town’s appropriation so that an even bigger and better playground area can be created adjacent to the school.

“We want to expand the outer playground area  and add some additional equipment,” said Manning.

Currently there is a structure in the outer playground but it has a capacity of 12 children, according to Manning. “At every recess period, there are about 90 first and/or second graders out in that larger area, so we really need something out there to make it a little bit safer and more fun for the children.”

The two parents credited Council President and School Committee member Jeffrey Turco for making the playground appropriation a priority.

“It had been the parents’ priority for some time,” said Parker. “We thank Mr. Turco for being a big advocate for us. He came to our PTO meeting, listened to our concerns, and he pushed this to the front burner. Once Mr. Turco got involved, it took off from there.”

The fundraising campaign will begin on May 1 at the school.

“What we’re looking to do is to raise some funds to help us refurbish, redo, and update the outer playground area,” said Manning.

“The town has appropriated $30,000 and our goal is to come up with another $30,000 to be able to do what we want to do at the playground,” said Parker.

The PTO has gratefully accepted a $5,000 donation from U.S. Olympic hockey captain Mike Eruzione and his family’s foundation, Winthrop Charities.

The PTO will be selling cash calendars called the “Sixty Days of Summer.” Buyers of the calendar will be eligible to win cash prizes. There will be an end-of-the-year celebration on June 17 at the Winthrop Yacht Club. All of the proceeds from the dinner/dance will go to the Winthrop Playground Fund.

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