Warwick Playground Dreams recruiting volunteers for Build Week in April

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  • Provided photo Warwick Playground Dreams is still looking for five more work crew team leaders to commit to working on the playground for the entirety of Build Week. Other volunteer shifts are broken down into four-hour increments. Construction experience is not necessary.

  • Photo by Roger Gavan From left, WPD Committee Member Amanda Panetta and Vice President Megan Cardenas station themselves in the atrium at The Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr to hand out literature and sign up volunteers for Build Week.

— Just like a traditional barn-raising, the residents of Warwick will soon have an opportunity to join with their neighbors and help build a community-designed and community-built Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accessible playground.

The project is spearheaded by Warwick Playground Dreams (WPD), a committee of volunteers in the Town of Warwick who have been raising funds since 2016 to rejuvenate the aging playground in Stanley-Deming Park.

Working together with the Village of Warwick, the schools and playground design architects, Play By Design, the committee's goal was to bring an ADA-accessible playground to Warwick that will exercise the imaginations of all of Warwick's children as well as their muscles.

Today it is only $38,000 short of its $350,000 goal.

The seven-day Build Week will take place this April.

Over this past Saturday and Sunday, Warwick Playground Dreams representatives spoke about their playground project following all the masses at the Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr.

WPD Vice President Megan Cardenas updated the parishioners about the current status of the playground initiative and shared her own personal story, which motivated her to fund raise for the playground for the last two years.

'He can only watch his brother play'"This project," she said, "is dear to my heart as I have two boys who currently can't play together on the playground. My eldest loves to climb and run and he will love the more challenging equipment coming in the new design. However, my youngest has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the pediatric form of ALS, and is on a vent, needs nursing, and uses a wheelchair. He can only watch his brother play on the playground.

"After the playground is built in April, he will finally be able to join his brother and play, too," Cardenas added. "Any individual with mobility issues or disabilities whether a child, parent, or grandparent will be able to play alongside the other children of Warwick. This playground is so important and we are so close, but we need your help to raise the remaining $38,000 and we need volunteers, 200 a day for seven days from April 22 to April 28 to actually build the playground."

Warwick Playground Dreams Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator Christina LeBar, who is also a parishioner at St. Stephen's, was at several of the masses and explained how volunteers will be split into work crews led by volunteer Work Crew Team Leaders.

These Work Crew Team Leaders will work closely with the construction supervisors from Play By Design who will be directing the Build.

Five more work team leadersWarwick Playground Dreams is still looking for five more work crew team leaders to commit to working on the playground for the entirety of Build Week. Other volunteer shifts are broken down into four-hour increments.

Construction experience is not necessary for volunteers or team leaders.

The playground's architects, Play By Design, have worked with communities across the country and will be providing construction supervisors to direct the team leaders and volunteers.

This is community"Build week," said LeBar, "is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses, congregations, and civic organizations to give back to the children of our community while enjoying a shared, team-building experience. Our community will come together out of love for our children and raise not just a barn, but a castle, a fort and a tree house too."

Warwick Playground Dreams hopes to raise the much needed $38,000 by the end of February.

In her address St. Stephen's parishioner and Committee Member Amanda Panetta added: "I am even more hopeful that we will reach beyond our goal and be able to add the bonus pieces such as the Climbing Net Spinner and Ropes Course in a second phase, further enhancing all children's play experience."

Find out moreMore information on component sponsorships, engraved bricks and pickets and how to volunteer for Build Week April 22 to 28 is available at www.WarwickPlaygroundDreams.org.

- Roger Gavan

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