Playground Extreme Makeover Two NFL players award grant to Fleetwood playground project

Fleetwood’s Locust Street Playground will get an extreme makeover thanks to help from two NFL football players.

The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund will lead an effort to rebuild the Locust Street Playground in Fleetwood on June 22.

“Yes, we were the overjoyed recipients of the Gilmore/Henne Community Fund grant,” said FleetwoodMayorTammy Gore.

Gore explained that John Gilmore and Chad Henne are two NFL football players that both graduated from Wilson.

The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund has conducted six playground projects, three in Reading and one in West Lawn and one in Temple. Typically they will chose two projects a year, but this year they decided to do only one.

“The amount of community support and legwork that The Friends of Fleetwood Playground Inc. put into obtaining a new playground was a big factor in us choosing Fleetwood,” said Christine Anderton, M.S., Executive Director, Gilmore | Henne Community Fund.

Anderton explained that The Friends of Fleetwood Playground Inc. began fundraising to replace the old equipment at the Locust Street Park, shining a light on the playground. She said Fleetwood Borough officials inspected the playground, deemed the equipment unfit, and removed everything.The Friends of Fleetwood Playground applied for a grant from The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund.

“It was a perfect fit,” said Anderton. “The Friends of Fleetwood Playground encompass everything The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund works for.”

The grant of $65,000, along with other donations of services and materials, will go toward an adaptive playground for all ages of children with various abilities, including equipment for children with disabilities.

Anderton said a large portion of funding is being raised at their sold out golf outing on Friday at the Berkleigh Golf Club, with 140 golfers chipping into the cause.

Ric’s Contracting & Excavating in Fleetwood donated their services and began excavation on Sunday. Mike Spayd of Spayd’s Landscaping in Fleetwood is donating his services and landscaping materials. Weaver’s Hardware in Fleetwood donated concrete for the project.

The Locust Street Park revitalization build is scheduled for June 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s kind of like an Extreme Makeover for the playground,” said Gore.

Gore said they will come in with all of the equipment, games, and food on June 22 and the build happens in one day.

“The pro football players, and maybe some of their buddies, will be there working alongside community members,” said Gore.

Gore noted that the playground will be installed at no expense to the Borough or taxpayers.

“By the end of the day, the playground will be completely done and ready for the children to use.”

Gore said the entire community is involved.

“In fact, the Fleetwood Football Coach has even gotten his players to assist in the build. What a great opportunity and lesson for them. As leaders of the school, we hope they model for other students and take pride and care of this amazing gift,” said Gore.

Community members are encouraged to get involved in the park build on June 22. For more information about volunteering, email locuststreet@ghcommunityfund.com. Visit www.ghcommunityfund.com.