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Bristol playground fundraiser exceeds its goal

BRISTOL — A group raising funds for a new playground on the Bristol town green has reached its goal of $11,000.
The Bristol Green Playground Committee used the fundraising website Indiegogo to solicit funds. As of press time, the group had reached raised $12,390. The fundraising period ends Friday.
“This is fantastic,” committee member Darla Senecal said. “To be able to come up with this in such a short time, it’s bolstering.”
As of Tuesday, 134 different people donated to the project.
“Most of the donations were in the $25-100 range,” Senecal said. “One was for $1,000.”
In addition to reaching their goal, the group received news this week that they had been awarded a $15,000 grant from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that provides communities and schools funding for playground equipment.
“We’re pretty excited about reaching our goal and receiving the grant,” committee member Krista Siringo said. Siringo has three young children that will benefit from the new playground.
Siringo said the group plans to keep fundraising through the spring, and also send information directly to residents, for those who aren’t in tune with social media. The group hopes the town will appropriate whatever funds are still needed after the fundraising is complete.
“We’re learning that playgrounds aren’t cheap to build, but this is also really important,” Siringo said. She added that the existing playground does not fit the needs for children under six years old.
As for why the group decided on a goal of $11,000, Siringo said the group wanted to raise $10,000, after the fee from Indiegogo was taken from the total. Still, the goal was to raise as much as possible.
“The more we raise now, the less we’ll have to raise later,” Siringo said.
The largest expense will be uniform surfacing that protects children from falls. The committee wants to use this safe surfacing instead of cheaper materials like shredded tires, gravel, or mulch.
Earlier this year, the committee selected a design by Mary Beth Stillwell of MB architecture + design of Lincoln. The new play area will be built on the site of the existing playground on the Bristol town green, which has elements that are a half-century old and do not comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
“It is costly to bring the playground up to federal standards,” Senecal said. “Surfacing and equipment need to be changed.”
Senecal said the next step is to work with the architect.
“We have to take the design from the architect and make it a reality,” she said.
While no formal plans have been drawn or costs calculated, Senecal estimated the total cost of the project to be “in the neighborhood of $75,000.”
With more than a third of that amount now procured, the town is well on its way to seeing the project realized. The committee hopes to build the playground this summer. 

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