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SMILE Cookies to help playground project

Recently fundraising for the Mary Montgomery School Accessible Playground was featured at the final regular season Oil Capitals home game. SMILE Cookies are next.

Fundraising for an accessible playground will get a boost from Tim Horton’s Smile Cookie campaign this spring.

“We are thrilled to officially announce that the Mary Montgomery School Accessible Playground has been selected as the Smile Cookie fundraiser recipients this spring,” says Andrea Gray, a member of the Parent Advisory Council who is spearheading the playground project.

At the Virden Oil Capitals home game on Friday, March 15 her son Nixon, who uses a wheelchair, was honoured to perform the ceremonial puck drop. It was the team’s final home game of the regular season where Valleyview Co-op joined forces with parents from Mary Montgomery School to fundraise for an accessible playground. The Co-op pledged to match donations at the game, dollar for dollar up to $5000.

Generous community members delivered cheques, and kids came by to drop their change in the bucket.

“Thanks to the generous support of the community plus the co-op’s matching dollars, the playground is $7,227.25, closer to reality,” says Gray.

The playground account is now sitting at about $22,000 thanks to the event at the Oil Caps game and past fundraising events including Rare Disease Day with Boston Pizza and a Spenst Bros pizza fundraiser.

Accessible ground surfacing as well as accessible pieces of playground equipment will be a feature of the new playground, Andrea told the Empire-Advance. She said, “The ultimate goal is a space that our differently abled students can navigate independently and functionally as this promotes inclusion with their peers.”

Principal of Mary Montgomery School, Brad Hayward is happy to see this playground plan going forward. He says, “Mary Montgomery School is excited to be part of this project. An accessible playground will be a wonderful addition to our school and community.”

There is a need for this accessible play area because “presently the town of Virden does not have an accessible playground for any, and all to access. From what I have seen from the ideas and initial plans it will be a great resource to our community.”

It’s termed inclusive because all children can enjoy the proposed play structure Hayward says, “Interacting, learning from each other, creating smiles and memories.”

Later in May a Family Fun Carnival fundraiser is planned. Find information on the Mary Montgomery School Accessible Playground Fundraising Page.

Tim Horton’s smile cookies will go on sale from April 29 to May 5

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