Anonymous Donor Gives $35,000 To Accessible Community Playground Campaign

Special to The Sunbury News

An anonymous donor has contributed $35,000 to The Souders Community Playground Project, a fundraising campaign created by the Hylen Souders Elementary PTO and designed to partner with area leaders, businesses and residents to raise money to build an accessible, inclusive playground that welcomes kids of all abilities in the Sunbury and Big Walnut communities to learn and grow together.

The donor provided $15,000 to the playground project at its inception last fall and pledged two additional $10,000 matches to the PTO’s ongoing fundraising efforts. The project’s fundraising campaign has earned both of these matches, and the current gross fundraising total is $75,000.

The cost of commercial play structures can range between $30,000 and $500,000, and inclusive playground elements can cost as much as $10,000 each. Rubber surfacing that makes a playground accessible for anyone with mobility challenges and safe for everyone is costly.

To raise the money needed to build an accessible playground for the Big Walnut community, the project planning committee is selling engraved bricks and granite tiles, which will be used to build an outdoor seating area or pathway near the new playground. Bricks and tiles are available in various sizes at multiple levels of giving and can be personalized with names, messages, clipart and logos.

The new playground will allow all children to play with one another and create a sense of community. Children with disabilities will receive the same developmental benefits as their peers, children without disabilities will develop healthy concepts of diversity and acceptance, and all children will enjoy the opportunity to exercise, which is essential to good health now and a lifetime of wellness.

The playground will serve all Souders students and be an inclusive play resource for respectful use by anyone in the community during non-school hours, including all children across the school district.

For more information about The Souders Community Playground project and to purchase a customized brick or tile, visit and click on “playground project.” All donations are tax deductible through the Hylen Souders Elementary PTO, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Special to The Sunbury News