by Sharlene Harrison-Hinds
How do you help build a new playground with a $100,000 price tag, for an elementary school like Silver Creek Elementary School?
Quite simply, in one word — LEGO — in the form of a fundraising event called LEGO Expo. Presented by Hope and District Ratepayers Association, this exposition is being supported by the Vancouver LEGO Club and Ratepayers on March 18 at the Silver Creek Elementary gym, from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Silver Creek Elementary School is sorely in need of a new playground which brings us to the cost of creating such a dynamic and positive playground.
The equipment and structures themselves are expensive because they are specially designed to accommodate children of all abilities they must also be able to endure the weather and repeated usage on a daily basis.
The tie-ins between LEGO and the playground fundraiser are obvious.
Both are about construction — providing children (and adults who grew up with the red, blue and yellow bricks) a way to create and have fun — indoors and out. Both encourage creativity and self-expression.
VLC members will be bringing some of their most awe-inspiring creations for LEGO lovers to “ooh” and “ahh” over.
Thanks to the collaboration with the Silver Creek Parent Advisory Council, there will also be building activities, with LEGO bricks for use on the site so attendees can make their own masterpieces.
According to VLC president, Allan Corbeil, “The group is excited to be part of such a worthwhile fundraiser. The thing that attracted us the most about this playground project is that it will be designed so that every child, in spite of any limitations, will be able to enjoy the playground equipment. I’d say that’s a great fit with LEGO’s universal appeal — just about anybody, of any age or capability, can be creative and have fun with them.”
President of the Ratepayers, John Duff, expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the community, to VLC for creating this amazing opportunity for LEGO lovers to see some of these colourful, jaw-dropping masterpieces.
“It’s all part of what we do,” he said. “Working together is the only way I have ever known to get things that need doing, done.
“We saw a need at the school and felt this was precisely in line with our mandate of helping out in the community. Being able to collaborate with the Silver Creek Elementary PAC whose volunteers will be working the event, makes it even better.
“We are a small group and we can’t do it alone. We believe it promises to be a terrific time for children and adults alike.”
Hope Ratepayers’ plan is that by making entry into the event by donation, people will be encouraged to attend and not have cost be a barrier to enjoying the exhibits and participating in the activities. Although helping raise the money for the playground is the primary goal, it’s also important to bring awareness of the playground project. There’s still quite a way to go on reaching the ultimate goal of $100,000 — but every bit helps. But isn’t that how every great project gets built? Brick by brick.