UNION – Children in the Union community now have a new, safe place to play thanks to the community support that enabled the community center to purchase playground equipment.
Union resident Marvelene Fleming said the quest for a new playground began two years ago when residents became concerned about the existing equipment.
“The old equipment was here when Union School was open,” Fleming said.
Fleming said the ball didn’t get rolling on the new equipment until last year when Frank McGee became involved.
“We would have never gotten this done so quickly without Frank,” Fleming said.
McGee said the equipment cost $11,848 and was purchased from Playmasters.
“We were looking for something that was going to be durable and last a long time,” Fleming said.
McGee said the center held two fundraisers, a yard sale and a candidate supper, but the bulk of the money came from grants from Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow and Sen. Roger Bedford.
County Commissioner Stratt Byars also made a personal donation to the cause.
“Together, $7,500 was donated or given to us in the form of a grant to purchase this equipment for our center,” McGee said.
“Without their help, this could not have been accomplished and we appreciate their support.”
Fleming said the candidate supper held in April raked in $2,500 and the Modern Woodmen of the World matched the funds with another $2,500.
McGee and Fleming both agree the work is not over. There are plans to purchase a turtle toy for toddlers, which will cost about $450, and landscaping work has not been completed for the playground.
“We are going to add picnic tables under the trees for parents to have a place to sit,” McGee said.
“When we are finished, we will have a very nice playground for our children to enjoy.”