Opinion

Opstad playground project complete

Thanks to the hard work and effort of over 50 volunteers, the Opstad Elementary playground project is complete. A large "build day" was held on July 23 that entailed constructing the new kindergarten area and an obstacle course in the older kids' area. Volunteers also painted a U.S. map and world maps on the blacktops. Current and former Opstad students came out to help paint. Surfacing and borders were installed on July 25 and 26 by another group of volunteers to finish the project.

This installation was the completion of an almost two-year project that included fund raising, design and planning work, grant writing, volunteer team building and recruiting. The financial support and hard work of the Opstad PTA and grants from King County, Starbucks and Washington Mutual have helped make this effort a reality. Volunteers from Starbucks also came out to help with the July 23 effort that will allow us to take advantage of another program offered by Starbucks called "Make your Mark!"

A grand opening will be held Sept. 6 at 2:30 p.m. at Opstad. Everyone is invited to come see the beautiful maps and play on the new playgrounds.

A special thank you to our volunteer coordinators, special project leads and core team members whose incredible efforts made this project possible: Latreash Duvall, Susie Scoones, Karen Bezanson, Fred Alati, Lyn Seydell, Laura Mandlekorn, Colleen Funk, Sandy Heaslett, Dave Buzard, Susan Livingston, Lara Currie, Anthea Hubanks, Opstad principal John Jester and school district operations manager Carl Larson and his team.

Volunteers who definitely went above and beyond include Barney Stevens and Lisa Blessard of Pointswest Services, Paul and Stacy Stead of Skyline Homes and John and Cecile Richards.

Thank you also goes out to all of these other great community members who made this project a reality: Brian Duvall, Ken Seydell, Chris Scoones, Chris Nelson, Sam Metzler, Eric Howland, Ross, Marika and Anika Loudenback, Nick Heaslett, Nancy Thomas, Kevin Himka, Tracy Montgomery, Gary Whitson, Peter Marshall, Lew, Madeleine and Stuart Bezanson, Jan-Olav Johansson, Mark Gibbons, Allie VanBryce, Joe and Danielle Schott, Larry Waring, Adam Berkelhammer, Gary and Shannon Acker, Anthea Hubanks, Ashley Lewis, Jeff Ronnfeldt, Amanda Cebill, Tiffany Parnte, David Spring, June, Mackenzie and Daniele Curley, Morgan Armstron, Karen Trotto, Aaron Loudenback, Edyte Haugeita, Mike Kirschner, Mike and Shannon Blood and Duane Warner.

Business and organizations that helped include: King County Youth Sports Facility Grant Program, Starbucks Neighborhood Parks Program, Washington Mutual, Pointswest Services, Skyline Homes, Snoqualmie Valley Eyecare, Bartells, Starbucks- North Bend Store, Cascade Covenant Church, Home Inspections Plus, Frankie's Pizza, R&R Rentals, Cadman and Chinook Lumber.

There are many others who helped with this project and I would like to acknowledge their involvement and support. This has been a very special project that has shown that this community always reaches out to help and it has been an honor to have led this effort. I look forward to seeing everyone at the grand opening on Sept. 6 at 2:30 p.m.


Caroline Loudenback

Opstad playground

project manager

North Ben

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