Bloomsburg, Columbia County -- If building the playground Kidsburg were a baseball game, then Friday's activity would have to be considered a ninth inning rally. Volunteers more than 100 strong at any given time sawed and drilled with a purpose knowing that Sunday evening's grand opening grew closer by the hour.
The massive turnout, the biggest of the entire week, was a huge help but so far not enough to offset a lesser turnout in previous days. "We are not on track. That's the problem because of the low numbers before, we are having to really make every moment count," said Kidsburg Committee Co-Chair Deb Huckans.
The volunteer rally effort is bolstered in part by the Bloomsburg construction firm, Kawneer. The company takes part annually in community volunteer efforts. This time, it supplied 150 volunteer workers to the playground effort. "It's great that, you know, this year we picked Kidsburg because they are in such great need of help," said Kawneer volunteer Rob Jones. The dad from Danville takes pride in helping build the playground from the ground up. "I have two children myself so it's really great to actually see something that I'm actually going to be working on that the kids will eventually be able to play on."
Another company stepping up to volunteer is Optimo Information Technology. Laura Hayman of Catawissa was among about a half-dozen volunteers from the Bloomsburg-based business. "Oh, I think this is great... everybody getting together and helping each other out and, you know, building this for the community."
Bloomsburg High School Junior Austin Stolz was among several student volunteers. It's important for him to help replace the old playground destroyed in the flood of 2011. "They got flooded and then, you know, it made you kind of sad but, you know, now they're rebuilding." Organizers hope the volunteer spirit is in abundance this weekend. "We don't want a huge punch list Monday morning when we're walking around because we have the volunteers. We have the momentum," said Ms. Huckans who noted that Kidsburg volunteers are especially needed for the Saturday evening and Sunday morning shifts this weekend. You can sign up by logging onto www.kidsburg.org or call 301-518-7089.