With the pull of a ribbon, dozens of children sprinted toward the new playground equipment at the Eagle River Boys and Girls Club on Oct. 23.
The newest addition to the club has been a longtime coming.
“The only thing they had to play on the past 23 years was the basketball court,” branch manager Tracey Hupe said.
About half of the playground’s $30,000 price tag was paid for by the state, Hupe said. The club raised the rest.
Spenard Builders Supply and Alaska Industrial Hardware donated supplies, Hupe said.
The kids selected which equipment they wanted, she said, and parent volunteers spent six Saturdays throughout August and September assembling the playground.
The new equipment is a huge boon to the program, Hupe said, as permission slips are needed any time the kids leave the club — even just to go across the street to Town Square Park.
“We just needed something on site,” she said.
A crisp afternoon didn’t dampen the kids’ spirits one bit as they enjoyed their new playground for the first time. Ear-to-ear smiles were seen on nearly every face — both children and adults alike.
The project has been about a year in the making, Hupe said, and the kids couldn’t be happier with their new playground.
“They love it,” she said. “They’ve been waiting for so long.”
Ten-year-old Brooklynn Castillo agreed.
“It is fun for kids to play on,” she said. “Instead of doing homework, they’re going to be at the playground.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected].