Volunteers prepare for playground build

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Build Day set Friday

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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When Marge Cole toured Selma’s newly-constructed YMCA facility, the Atlanta, Ga. resident was tempted to relocate to the Queen City. But she decided to do the next best thing instead.

Cole is one of approximately 200 volunteers who will construct a 3800 square foot playground at the Y on Friday – a $65,000 shared project involving BellSouth, the Alabama Power Foundation, the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County, Yeargan Construction and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. “that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.”

Cole spent the majority of Wednesday afternoon at the Y, where she and a few of her colleagues were busy at work painting team posters. Cole said 12 volunteer teams have been established to complete the one-day project, which will begin at 9 a.m. Friday and end at 3:30 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“We have a bigger group coming in on Friday,” said Cole, referring to BellSouth employees who will travel to Selma from Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Nashville, Tenn. and Atlanta. “We like doing things together.”

Cole said the playground build has long been a passion of her boss Becky Dunn. Dunn, a Selma native and niece of YMCA namesake Paul Grist, “was able to pull people together and make things happen,” said Bibby King, regional vice president of TelecomPioneers, BellSouth’s volunteer organization. “(Dunn) has a lot of heart in this community although she’s not lived here for a long time.”

King later added, “We look forward to Friday. We look forward to the end of Friday. We want to see this.”

Like King, YMCA representative Angie Miller is also looking forward to Friday’s end results. Miller said the Y is still seeking volunteers because “there’s never enough volunteers for a project this size.”

Miller said volunteers may register the day of the event at 8:45 a.m. at the Y, located off Medical Center Parkway on YMCA Drive. Volunteers are also needed for landscaping and assembling the playground’s butterfly garden. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For more information, call the Y at (334) 874-YMCA.