SHRUB OAK, N.Y. – Eight months after fundraising efforts began, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held Thursday for new swing sets at Ben Franklin Elementary School.
The school has been without swings for about seven years since the old sets, which had been in use since the school first opened in 1969, were disassembled for safety reasons.
"We've been waiting a long time for swing sets at Ben Franklin," said Principal Patricia McIlvenny-Moore. "I had a real active group of parents from the PTA. They had a lot of energy and worked very hard."
The PTA raised $18,000 for the project, the first $500 of which the school earned from The Daily Voice's school contest. Several fundraisers were held throughout the year, including a book fair and the selling of bricks that will form a walkway.
Karen Brown, who co-chaired the PTA campaign with Doreen Matthews, said having the swing sets installed by the end of the school year was unexpected.
"We never realized how expensive it would be," said Brown, who noted the special wood chips surrounding the swing sets cost $4,000.
Other members of the PTA committee that worked on the project were Ellen Dolan, Ann Maria Robbin, Liz Finnegan, Robyn Pearl and Bibiana Denet.
Next up for Ben Franklin, which serves 600 students in grades kindergarten to fifth, is a two-year fundraising campaign for a fitness playground.