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New school year, new playground for MOE students in Chelan

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Morgen Owings Elementary Principal Heidi Busk (left) recognizes Camisha Hughbanks (right), the former PTA president. She and the board played a large role in making the dream of new playground a reality. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

Morgen Owings Elementary (MOE) PTA celebrated the ribbon cutting for the school’s new playground on the first day of the new school year, August 29, 2017. The day marked the grand opening of the playground which the PTA spent over a year fundraising to bring to the students of MOE. The project completed with the final installation of wood chips that took place earlier in August.

Raffles, benefit dinners, Trivia Nights and a GoFundMe page were all utilized to raise more than $50,000 that was required to replace the outdated playground equipment at the Chelan grade school. MOE PTA developed the ideal playground, with help from SiteLines Park & Playground Equipment, out of the Seattle area. The result is a playground that the PTA believes will meet both safety standards and capacity standards at MOE.

The students and teachers of Morgen Owings Elementary School and community members of Lake Chelan filled the school’s field to celebrate the grand opening of the new playground on the first day of school, Aug. 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy of MOE PTA)

Adam Rynd of Coldwell Banker Lake Chelan Properties cuts the ribbon welcoming students to the new playground. Rynd assisted in fundraising efforts for the playground which included trivia nights and raffles. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

“Our playground was old, and there were some safety concerns,” Chelan School District Superintendent Barry DePaoli explained. “We believed our kids deserved a new playground. We are constantly looking for ways to improve. It will be a lot easier for our playground staff to monitor with safe equipment.”

Many local businesses and service organizations contributed to the project. The Lake Chelan Lions, who celebrate their 100th year of serving the community this year, donated a climbing dome for the playground which they refer to as the ‘Lion’s Den’.

The Lake Chelan Lions Club gifted a climbing dome to the students of MOE for their new playground. The Lions refer to the dome as the ‘Lion’s Den’. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

Chelan School District Superintendent Barry DePaoli speaks to attendees of ribbon cutting event at MOE playground on Aug. 29. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

“When you climb and play on the ‘Lion’s Den’ think of us in our yellow vests and how much we wanted you to have this playground,” Lake Chelan Lions Club President Juli Straub said to the students during the ceremony.

“It’s so typical of our community,” DePaoli added referring to the outpouring of community support for ‘Project Playground’. “It is amazing the spirit of the community. Our PTA deserves a lot of credit for the vision behind this and the work behind this.”

Kinder-campers enjoyed the new playground just prior to school starting back. The new playground project at MOE completed earlier this August when the wood chips were installed.  The MOE PTA spent over a year fundraising to bring the new playground to the school. (Photo courtesy of MOE)

(By Jillian Foster)

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