ARLINGTON -- Fisher Elementary has essentially reached its playground fundraising goal of $36,594 thanks to efforts from the school's Parent Teacher Group and a promised donation of $10,000 from local manufacturer Mack Molding.

Fisher Elementary's playground has been in need of extensive repairs since early 2011.

Since that time, Principal Deanne Lacoste and members of the school's Parent Teacher Group have been actively fundraising to afford the repairs. Up until Lacoste received word of the donation Thursday morning from Mack Molding's Chief Financial Officer Florence Belnap, a total of $24,000 still needed to be raised before Dec.1 -- the deadline by which the school was given an offer to purchase equipment for a discounted price.

Lacoste: "Changed everything"

Lacoste approached the Arlington School Board last week asking if they would be willing donate the remaining balance of about $24,000 to their fundraising efforts, to which the board said they would "consider it."

However, Lacoste said the "generous" donation has "changed everything."

It was decided Thursday afternoon, according to Lacoste, that the remaining approximately $9,000 needed to reach the $36,594 goal will be transferred from the Fisher Elementary's general fund, rather than from the district's funds.

In a release, Belnap said she was happy to support the school in their fundraising efforts.

"Mack strives to support the education and healthcare needs in the communities in which we work," she said.


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"We are happy to provide funding to Fisher for new playground equipment which helps promote a healthy lifestyle through active and interactive play."

Lacoste said that the donation will be added to the $12,000 that has been raised through PTA efforts over the past three years, as well as to the $4,700 that has been raised through other various fundraisers, including a bottle drive, a "mixed bag" fundraiser, and an ongoing "jeans day" fundraiser, which will total about $26,700.

"The Fisher PTG has been a tremendous force in securing this money," Lacoste said. "It's been time consuming, but we all agreed that this is where our energy would go, and it's paid off for our students. To have Mack's donation as well, is just wonderful for our community."

According to Lacoste, "phase one" of the new playground will be installed in late December, and will include a new multi-student playground structure, an arch swing set and a 10-spin merry-go-round.

Lacoste said the school will continue to accept donations for "phase two" of the playground repairs, which will include additional stand-alone pieces of equipment and a slide.

"We appreciate everyone's support and we are glad we were able to complete phase one," she said. "We look forward to completing phase two."

To make a donation to Fisher Playground Phase Two or for more information about the project, contact Lacoste at lacosted@bvsu.org or 802-375-6409.