Souders PTO nears fundraising goal

Special to The Sunbury News

An anonymous donor contributed $35,000 to The Souders Community Playground Project, a fundraising campaign created by 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 fundraising goal for the playground is $100,000, and as of May 29, the PTO’s current gross fundraising total is $80,000.

The anonymous 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 campaign earned both of these matches.

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 safe for everyone and accessible to those with mobility challenges is costly. For the Souders Community Playground, approximately $50,000 is needed for the purchase of play equipment, and $50,000 is required for surfacing.

To raise the money needed to build the accessible playground for the Big Walnut community, the Souders PTO 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 deadline to donate and/or purchase a brick or tile is June 15.

“The Souders school family cannot achieve our fundraising goal and build this playground alone. We need the support of everyone—especially our local businesses, who are the most generous donors to our community. We not only want their names on this playground in a tangible way, but we also want their imprint on the promise that we all are committed to inclusion in every aspect of community life. Everyone belongs,” said Amy Ranalli, Souders PTO.

The new playground will allow all children, regardless of ability, to play together.

Children with disabilities will receive the same developmental benefits of play as their peers, and children without disabilities will develop healthy concepts of diversity and acceptance. All children will enjoy the opportunity to exercise, which is essential to good health now and a lifetime of wellness. The playground will be located at Souders Elementary and be an inclusive play resource for use by anyone in the community during non-school hours, including all children across the Big Walnut School District.

To learn more about The Souders Community Playground Project, purchase a customized brick or tile or make a donation without a brick purchase, visit and click on “Playground Project.” All donations are tax deductible through the Hylen Souders Elementary PTO, a 501(c)(3) organization.

The playground project is grateful to the following businesses who have pledged their support: Quality Air Heating and Air Conditioning, Jet’s Pizza, Polaris Parkway Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Step By Step Pediatrics, The Sunbury News, State Security, National Groundwater Association, Galena United Methodist Church, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, AquaTots Swin Schools, Cherubini Designs, Forman Realtors, Sunbury Chiropractic, Table Rock Construction, PJ’s Original Family Restaurant, Bon Cher Hair Designs, Vitullo Landscaping, Anthony Dental Care, Glen’s Sports Barn, kw Capital Partners-the CyMacK Group, Ruark and Sons Automotive, Fine Finish Autobody, Washington Auto Parts NAPA.

Special to The Sunbury News

Information for this story was provided by Amy Ranalli.

Information for this story was provided by Amy Ranalli.