A letter writer thanks the hundreds of volunteers and community members who helped a playground come together in Whalley recently.

Support helps build community

A writer thanks the many people who helped make a Surrey playground a reality earlier this month.

On July 13 something very special happened at Whalley Athletic Park. The community got together and participated in building a playground.

The playground was organized through KaBOOM, a non-profit group from Washington, DC that believes every child should have a safe place to play. The funding partner was Foresters Insurance who committed $7 million to build playgrounds throughout Canada and the U.S.A. Local partners were the City of Surrey and the North Surrey Lions Club who jointly applied for and received a KaBOOM grant.

But this playground wouldn’t have happened without a great deal of community support.

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make the playground a reality:

· The students at KB Woodward Elementary School who helped design the playground

· Foresters Insurance, for not only financial support, but also for their member volunteers

· Ted Uhrich and Jeff Graham from the City of Surrey Parks Department and Shira Standfield from the City of Surrey Beautification Planning for all their hard work and expertise

· The Playground Planning Committee and the Build Captains for their leadership and dedication

· A & W Restaurant on 102 Avenue who supplied breakfast for the two prep days and build day for the volunteers

· Price Smart Foods Whalley for supplying fresh salad

· Starbucks at Central City who supplied coffee for the volunteers

· Bozzini’s Restaurant for supplying pizza for the volunteers

· Jasbir Sandhu, MP Surrey North and Bruce Ralston, MLA Surrey Whalley for not only supplying lunch on Saturday but cooking and serving it as well

· Safeway for supplying sandwiches for volunteers

· Concord Security for sponsoring and providing a First Aid attendant

· Central City Brewing Company for providing ice on some very hot days

· Surrey Crime Prevention Society for providing evening security for the site

· The City of Surrey engineering department for hooking up the water station

· The Downtown Surrey BIA for organizing the great DJ who kept everyone moving all day long as well as providing DSBIA interns, Supreet and Kaitlyn to organize the Children’s Participation Area

· The staff at Chuck Bailey Rec Centre for lending a number of items necessary to make the event a success

· The staff from KaBOOM especially Katrina, Josh, Danielle and Jen

· And especially all the volunteers – more than 150 participants including Whalley Daycare staff and parents, Forester Insurance members, the YMCA Cultural Exchange Students and host families, the Kwantlen Park Leos Club, the Enver Creek Leos Club, the Earl Marriott Leos Club, Scouts from throughout the Lower Mainland, Forever Fitness staff and clients, Cloverdale Volunteer Firefighters, individual community members and last, but certainly not least, The Phoenix Society Red Shirt Volunteers.

The playground will amuse and excite the children who visit Whalley Athletic Park for many years to come. It will provide them with a great place to play, be active and create wonderful childhood memories.

Since 1957, the North Surrey Lions have been active community supporters and are proud to serve a City with such great community spirit. The North Surrey Lions Club would like to thank everyone who worked with us on this project.


Bonnie Burnside,

President, North Surrey Lions Club

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