Providence Connections fundraiser puts playground dreams in reach


Providence Connections original playground, worth $50,000, was destroyed by vandals in September. The center plans to build a larger one in place of the destroyed one. (Photo courtesy Providence Connections)

Brightwood-based family center Providence Connections has raised enough funds to rebuild a playground that was destroyed in September by vandals — and to make it bigger and better.

In addition to an initial round of donations in the fall, Providence held a fundraiser at Penn Brewery on Feb. 3 that gave the playground fund a “big boost,” said Executive Director Sister Carolyn Winschel, who declined to say how much money the event raised.

Providence Director of Development Dawn Woodfill said the fundraiser drew a crowd of more than 100 supporters.

The new playground, Winschel said, should be completed by the end of April and will provide children with something a little more than monkey bars to swing on.

“They get to use the same muscles and … they get the same kind of exercise, but it’s more creative,” Winschel said.

For example, the playground will come with removable foam pieces the children can play and build with, spaces for gardening, a climbing wall built into the natural slope on Providence’s property complete with slides and a small baseball diamond, she said.

Demolition and removal of the old playground, burned to the ground by vandals, should be completed by the end of March.

Penn Brewery donated the space for the event and several entertainers provided live music throughout the night. Local restaurants including Priory Fine Pastries, Bistro to Go, Amani Coffehouse, Breadworks, Kuhn’s and others donated food.

A raffle helped raise additional funds, Woodfill said.

“We appreciate everyone’s support, and we’re looking forward to having our nice, new playground in the spring,” Woodfill said.

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