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The North Bend Eagle


Fool's Fest aims for new playground equipment

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 3/30/11

Five pieces of equipment now make up the playground east of North Bend Elementary School. Birchwood Manor and its employees are hoping to add to that with a fund raiser to purchase new equipment for the school.

NBE at recessKaily Lorence kicks her way across the gliger while Owen Brodd waits his turn during second grade recess.

“We’ve seen North Bend Central Public Schools commit to growing its schools and environment and we want to support the children and schools in this way,” Birchwood Manor president Pamela Griffin said.

Birchwood Manor has pledged $1,500 toward the equipment. Anything exceeding the actual expenses of the fund raiser will be added to the amount donated.

When Griffin approached superintendent Dan Endorf seeking something large to donate to the school, Endorf had just received a letter from students requesting new equipment for the playground, so he brought this up to Griffin.

Second graders were out for recess Friday afternoon in spite of the snow and cool weather. The city park, which is also used by students, is too muddy to use most of the winter. The cement east of the elementary school was busy with children playing dodgeball and basketball. Two pieces of the playground equipment were being used. When asked what new equipment they would like to see on the playground, the students came up with different answers:

Jacob Lee wanted to see a swingset.

Delaney Richardson thought the school yard needed a “super-duper big slide”

Kaily Lorence would like to see a spiderweb and slide added.

Owen Brodd wanted to play on a merry-go-round.

Bethany Wiebold thought students needed bigger monkey bars. Lacey Borer agreed, adding, “Ones you can actually swing your legs from.”

Their responses were varied, but all agreed they would like new equipment.

Principal Caryn Zietlow said that new equipment is being looked at with the thought that at least one piece needs to be handicap accessible.

“We are looking at more interactive equipment,” Ziettlow said. “It’s great that Birchwood Manor is doing this for the school. We appreciate all the help and support we can get.”

This is the ninth year Birchwood Manor has held the April Fool’s Fest fund raiser.

The first two years were to help them purchase rehabilitation equipment for its own facility. The last seven have been for the community’s benefit. The library, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have all benefited. Last year funds were raised for play equipment at one of the softball fields near the high school which will be installed this spring.

The benefit will be held Thursday, March 31, 5 p.m to 9:30 p.m., at the city auditorium. There will be mountain oysters, gizzards, liver and onions, as well as hot dogs and sloppy joes to go with the baked beans and homemade salads. The cost is $7.50 for adults There will be beer and take outs available. For the adults, it is a all-you-can-eat buffet. New this year is a children’s (ages 3-12) meal of hot dog or Sloppy joe, chips, beans and a cookie for $4. Children three and under are free.

A Kolache Queen will be crowned with kolaches available to purchase. The entry fee for this contest is 2 1/2 dozen kolaches, with the extra being sold after the contest. Anyone interested in entering their kolaches in the contest is asked to call Birchwood Manor at 402-652-3242.

Live music by the group Shifting Sands will go from 6 to 9 a.m. with dancing room available.

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