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It Takes a Playground to Build a Community and Vice Versa...

Sandy Hook native Erin McClymonds describes her close-knit hometown—and how Cranberry residents and businesses are uniting here to build the new Kids Castle.

It takes a playground to build a community and vice versa…

I grew up in a small, quaint little community in Connecticut called Sandy Hook.

No one locked their doors, everyone knew everybody and if you needed help there were always plenty of friends and neighbors to show up and pitch in. My little community needs that help now more than ever. It was the sight of the horrific school shooting at my old elementary school. 

However, the sense of community is still strong there and neighbors are helping each other heal and move forward slowly.

In a world where it is easy to only see your neighbors in passing or to send a text or email instead of calling or seeing someone in person, community is more important than ever! We all need a purpose and a mission to unite us.

We are so lucky here in Cranberry that we have something very positive such as the new Cranberry Kids Castle Playground to unite us. The community response and outpouring has been amazing thus far. 

Businesses are helping to promote and support the mission and many, many people from the community are adding this to their already full task list. People are what make a community great and, so far, I think we have some pretty amazing people in Cranberry Township!

I am excited to announce we have 50 ambassadors to date! 

We are nearly to our goal of 100 ambassadors. We have several in the Freedom Woods neighborhood who are all going to work together to accomplish the mission of contacting all the residents and spreading the word about the Kids Castle Playground. 

If you feel like it would be overwhelming to be the sole ambassador for your neighborhood maybe you could enlist a neighbor to help you. It seems lwe do NOT have any representatives from some of our larger neighborhoods, including Cranberry Heights, Erhman Farms and more than 60 other neighborhoods.

If you live in one of the these neighborhoods perhaps you will consider helping us?!

In addition, I would like to highlight two Cranberry businesses who are supporting the playground in major ways!

The Streets of Cranberry (corporate level) has signed up to be a Business Ambassador, in which they will help to promote the playground and also make a generous donation ($3,000 was donated last week).

They will place two large signs of the playground's design on their property and encourage others to volunteer their efforts towards making this project a reality.

Dave Brudy, of the Streets of Cranberry, said “It is also natural for the Streets of Cranberry to support a project that further enhances Cranberry’s reputation as the 'Best Place in the State to Raise a Family.' This is a project we fully support." 

A BIG thanks to the Streets of Cranberry for believing in and helping accomplish our vision.

Also, I just learned that Moe’s (on Route 228) will be donating $1 for every burrito sold in the month of February at the Cranberry store. 

They are hoping to raise at least $5,000 for the new playground. Owners John Iaquinta and Mike Geiger (of Mars) have lots of little ones who will use the new playground for years to come, and they feel it is important to support the efforts!

In addition to a financial donation, they will be coordinating an Employee Volunteer Day in which employees can work on the playground and apparently they may even donate lunch that day for all the volunteers! 

Please eat some burritos and support the playground!

Stayed tuned for future announcements of more local businesses who are stepping up to support this project. 

It would be great if we could return the favor and support their businesses as well...

I am so very pleased the community is really getting behind this project. Cranberry is a wonderful place to life and it is the people who make it so special.  I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised ! 

Thanks to everyone who is helping with their time, their labor or their financial contributions. You are what makes Cranberry and the Kids Castle GREAT!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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