Donors step to the plate Creative playground fundraising meets Labor Day goal of $50 grand

Creative playground fundraising meets Labor Day goal of $50 grand

There's optimism in the air for those with hopes of building a new creative playground at John Pettibone School in New Milford.

Donations are pouring in as the Labor Day target for fund raising draws near. The benefactors are many and they are varied.

From a gift of $200 collected by Ayden Gold at his 10th birthday party this summer to a $10,000 donation from MVP-SOS, the local not-for-profit that helps fund educational and recreational activities, the playground committee will realize its goal of raising $50,000 by Labor Day.

With that figure reached, an anonymous donor will make a matching gift to bring the total to approximately $100,000.

"It's really nifty," said Eleanor Covelli, the Parks & Recreation Department assistant director, "all the large donations we've received, the small donations, the in-kind donations of promises of labor."

"The NewMilford4 Recreation people have been the backbone of the fund- raising drive," she noted.

MVP-SOS board member Lou Alhage spoke Wednesday for that group.

"We are excited about the opportunity to support the kids in our community and get the fundraising effort close to its $50,000 goal," Mr. Alhage said. "We realize that not every child wishes to participate in an organized sport or activity. The creative playground provides an outlet for those kids to stay active in a safe environment."

This week, $5,000 donations were received from both the Village Fair Days Committee and the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce.

Individuals have stepped forward, too.

"Tom Pilla came into my office this morning and donated $2,000," said Mayor Pat Murphy. "Everyone -- businesses, organizations, individuals -- are stepping up."

The mayor said that, with the recent large contributions, the $50,000 figure has been met and surpassed. That does not mean that more donations aren't welcome, she added.

"These playgrounds in the area cost from $100,000 to $140,000 each," Mayor Murphy said. "The last day to donate for this campaign is Labor Day but we'll be happy to accept further donations after that."