Volunteers needed to build playground

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Final preparations are being made to begin one of the largestand most community-involved construction projects to ever takeplace in the area.

Construction on Kids Kingdom will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday andcontinue through Sunday. The playground site is located on about 10acres off Industrial Park Road, across from Brookhaven FireDepartment Station 3.

Kids Kingdom will be the home of a masterful playground withslides, castles, bridges, monkey bars, swings and many other itemsthat will create an environment of fun for area children.

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“We need volunteers, anybody who can come out at any time, tohelp build it. We’re going to be there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday, and everyone is welcome,” said Sally Doty, co-chair.

Volunteers are asked to sign up for shifts, which last from 8a.m. to noon, noon to 5 p.m. and 5 to 8:30 p.m. each day.

Doty says people can also just show up at the site to volunteer.Skill is not a necessary requirement to help build Kids Kingdom,she added.

Ten captains will be on the site during the entire five-dayconstruction period to make assignments to whomever shows up readyto work.

Doty expects the construction process will run smoothly with thehelp of area volunteers and a national playground constructioncompany.

“The company has built over 2,000 playgrounds. They know whatthey’re doing, and it will be very organized,” said Doty.

In fact, they have already made plans to continue work if itrains during the week. Tents and other preparations are ready sovolunteers can continue to work in inclement weather.

“If it rains, we still need people to come on out with theirraincoats and work,” said Doty.

Kids Kingdom committee members have tried to think of everyaspect of the construction phase ahead of time and prepare for anyunexpected events. They have worked to make volunteers ascomfortable as possible during the project.

“We’re going to have some lights out there, so hopefully we’llbe able to work after dusk,” said Doty.

Also, child care will be provided in a nearby building by alocal sorority for potty trained children. Children ages 10-13 areallowed on the site if accompanied by a parent. Anyone 13 years oldand up can volunteer without the supervision of a parent, saidDoty.

Volunteers don’t have to worry about bringing their lunch ordinner either, as volunteers in the area have worked to take careof that.

“Local churches are preparing meals each night and restaurantsare providing lunches for everyone,” said Doty.

Tools and wood have also been donated by area residents andbusinesses. Don Estes and Verely Hamill drove to Texas Tuesday topick up a load of power tools being loaned to Kids Kingdom.

Over $100,000 has been raised so far through fundraisers and thesale of bricks and pickets to purchase needed materials.

“We’ve really had tremendous support,” said Doty.

Pickets will be on sale at the construction site during the weekfor $25 a piece. Volunteers are still looking to raise $25,000 moreto finish the playground and fund a pavilion and restroom area,which would be built in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

“We’ve got people on the phone right now asking for donations,and hopefully we’ll be able to come up with the rest of the money,”said Doty.

Anyone needing more information about Kids Kingdom can visit thesite or call Don Doty’s office at (601) 823-3200.