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Playground dedicated for Day Care Center

By Staff | Sep 18, 2009

Ronald McDonald cuts the ribbon on the Shepherdstown Day Care Center’s new playground equipment Monday during a decication ceremony at the East German Street school. Photo by Brittany Melkus

The Shepherdstown Day Care celebrated the official opening of its new playgrounds on Monday afternoon with a ribbon cutting ceremony and party for the community.

Special clown guest Ronald McDonald helped the staff and Board of Directors thank the many members of the community who helped make the new playground a success. He spent his evening entertaining children as they played on the new preschool climber, which was funded by the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The new preschool climber is the centerpiece of the preschool playground. There is also a new toddler playground. These playgrounds have age-specific equipment that will better serve the children.

“Before it was just a couple of odds and ends. The swings were falling apart and the teeters totters weren’t safe. The only thing left from the old playground is the sandbox and a yellow slide. It is definely safer,” said Tracy Howell, Sunshine teacher at the Shepherdstown Day Care.

According to Lynn Wilson, president of the Shepherdstown Day Care Board of Directors, the playground has been in the works for more than four years.

The daycare works with the families of the children, only asking them to pay what their income allows them. So the daycare does not have enough funds to produce a project like renovating the playground on its own. “The renovations would not have been possible without the generosity of foundations, governemnt grants, and community members,” said Melissa Holman, director of the daycare.

Community member, Eric Sundback, is a local landscaper that helped tremendously with the project. He donated many hours of labor and planning. The trees that are scattered throughout the playground were also donated by Sundback. He was recently chosen to provide the White House Christmas tree.

“It is great to see the community be such a part of [the playground renovations] and to help make it happen,” said Katie Goldsmith, a previous board member whose daughter attends the preschool. “I know the work that went on behind the scene; it was a tremendous effort. But it was worth it because the kids get to enjoy [the playground] everyday.”

The Shepherdstown Day Care Board of Directors, Director Melissa Holman, and former Director Carri Sherwood worked hard planning the playground renovations. The Board members are President Lynn Wilson, Vice President Donn Marshall, Secretary Phyllis LeTart, Treasurer Jack Lantzy, Patty Martineau, Linda Reynolds, Dale Walter, David Asam, Molly Bloom, Terry Marcus, Heather Thorn, and Hannah Lloyd. The previous Shepherdstown Day Care Director, Carri Sherwood, also worked.