Buy a gift (get a playground too) | AspenTimes.com

Buy a gift (get a playground too)

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Want to give Aspen Elementary School a wonderful gift? It could be as simple as buying and wrapping a few presents for someone else.

Aspen Elementary kicked off a three-week-long fund-raiser last Friday in an effort to refurbish its kindergarten playground. Though the playground has always been small, much of it was razed last year to make room for the expansion of nearby Aspen High School.

“They have about four swings ? it’s pretty sad,” lamented Candice Christensen, an AES mom and fund-raiser organizer.

Now that the high school construction is winding down, Aspen Elementary administrators are ready to rebuild the school’s ailing play area. The first goal is to install sod and sprinklers so the kids will have soft turf to play on; after that, the school will look at playground equipment.

But that, Christensen said, will take a lot of money.

So, for the second year in a row, Aspen Elementary students will sell gift wrap and other assorted holiday gifts from a catalog company that specializes in school fund-raisers. In 2001, AES students raised nearly $19,000 with their catalog sales, raising their playground fund to $37,000.

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“They have anything from gift wrap to candles, calendars, nuts and candy ? it’s a mixed bag,” Christensen said.

Aspen Middle School raises money using the same catalog, Christensen said, setting that money aside for special student projects.

Though children have been encouraged to avoid door-to-door sales, they will be petitioning family, friends and neighbors for possible purchases. Don’t have an AES or AMS student in your neighborhood? Aspen Elementary even has a gift-wrap hot line of sorts at 925-2760, extension 3005.

“We’d figure out some way to drop a pamphlet by,” Christensen said.

The fund-raiser concludes on Oct. 4.

AES Principal Barb Pitchford is also looking for interested parents and community members to serve on a playground committee once the school year is in full swing, Christensen said.

[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is jenniferd@aspentimes.com]

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