Playground update!

A lot of playground work was done Columbus Day weekend and the playground is really taking shape. The main structure has been completed and many of the large pieces have been placed and await concrete.

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On Oct. 13 more holes were augured, aggregate was spread and compacted, and 11 yards of concrete was poured. Another five or six yards were poured Oct. 15 and another load will be poured Friday, Oct. 17 at 3:00 p.m. What should be the last concrete load will likely be poured Monday.

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The poured rubber surface installation is scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 20, and will take as many as four and a half days to complete.

Thank you to everyone who helped in any way. We are extremely fortunate to have so many people with different skills who have stepped up to help. This project is a total team effort!

FLORENCE BANK AWARDS TEAM JESSICA, INC. $5,000

TeamJessicaIncLogo2013FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Deanna Roux 
Marketing & Communications Officer
Team Jessica, Inc., Belchertown, MA 01007
Tel: 413.563.0602
Email: droux@charter.net

FLORENCE BANK AWARDS TEAM JESSICA, INC. $5,000

BELCHERTOWN, Mass., Oct. 11, 2014 – Team Jessica, Inc. is excited to announce it has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Florence Bank of Florence, Mass. Team Jessica will use these funds to support the building of Jessica’s Boundless Playground (JBP), an effort that has been ongoing for the past four years.

Once completed, JBP will be the only 100% all-inclusive playground in New England. It has been carefully designed to be a multi-generational activity structure that engages people of all ages and abilities. Every area of the playground caters to those with mobility concerns, while at the same time being completely fun and engaging for able-bodied people. JBP will also allow wounded veterans in long-term rehab to experience the healing power and simple joy of playing with their own children.

The playground will cost upwards of $475,000 to build. Team Jessica has hosted more than 15 fundraising events over the past four years and the efforts have raised more than $385,000, including three Community Preservation Act grants totaling $140,000 from the Town of Belchertown. This total also includes several independent fundraisers that local businesses conducted for the project, as well as many large gifts from area organizations.

Last month more than 200 volunteers came together for a weekend build event that culminated in the construction of the majority of the playground structure. “We’re preparing for the final stages of construction – building the ramps, timing the poured-in-place rubber surface – while at the same time still conducting the last round of fundraising,” said Patti Thornton, Team Jessica’s grant writer. “This grant comes at a perfect time and we’re so thankful to the community-minded people at Florence Bank.”

Florence Bank’s history in community commitment is 140 years deep. No stranger to corporate social responsibility, the bank distributed $1,000,000 to local nonprofits in the past three years alone. For the past 12 years, the bank has been allowing its customers a voice in where donations will be allotted through their Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program.

“We are excited to be part of this extraordinary effort to bring an all-inclusive playground to Belchertown,” said Florence Bank’s President and CEO John F. Heaps Jr. “The enthusiasm and support for this project is overwhelming. We are happy to be part of it.”

In addition to this $5,000 grant, Team Jessica is participating in Florence Bank’s Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program. Florence Bank customers can vote to decide which local nonprofits will receive a portion of $100,000. “Team Jessica” is listed on the online ballot under the category “Community Support,” which can be found at www.florencesavings.com/vote. Paper ballots are located at any Florence Bank. Voting for this year concludes Dec. 31, 2014.

It takes a community!

IMG_1206It’s true. It takes a village to accomplish many things, in the case of building Jessica’s Boundless Playground in Belchertown, Mass., it takes a community.

Team Jessica is overwhelmed with gratitude to the many volunteers who came out to help build Jessica’s Boundless Playground Sept. 13 and 14. There were over 200 people who signed up and even more who showed up that weekend.

In addition, we had many donations of food, goods and services from local establishments that helped make the weekend build possible. Without the support of our community, Jessica’s Boundless Playground would not be possible. Each contribution is equally needed and appreciated!

Please patron the community businesses that continue to support community projects like Jessica’s Boundless Playground!

Team Jessica wishes to thank:  the Roadhouse Cafe for the breakfast breads, Kristina’s Kafe and Bakery for the cookie platters, Subway Belchertown for day one lunch of sandwiches and chips plus food safety servers and a visit from Subman, Almeida’s Country Café for baked goods, Cold Spring Orchard for the apples, McDonalds Belchertown for the may coolers full of ice, Checkers for ice, CVS Belchertown for 25 cases of bottled water, Tractor Supply for bottled water, Antonio’s Pizza by the Slice for day two lunch of gourmet pizza, Coca-Cola Northampton for 10 cases of beverages, Stop & Shop Belchertown for $100 gift card, McCarthy’s Pub for our day one post-build celebration with a bountiful cheese, crackers and meat platter, Ed Parker of Parker’s Portables LLC for the port-a-potties, and Rock Nietupski of Nietupski Complete Disposal for trash removal. Others who donated time to our weekend build were Belchertown EMS and Chestnut Hill Community School Custodians.

In addition, over the weekend build we had invaluable help from:

  • Taylor Davis Landscaping, Amherst
  • Fran & Nelson Garrow, Garrow and Sons Landscaping and Excavating, Belchertown
  • Steve Hulmes, ST Hulmes & Sons Excavating, Belchertown
  • Steve Williams, Belchertown DPW Director
  • Aaron Oldenberg, Mountainview Landscape, Chicopee
  • Brian Anderson, BA Builders, Belchertown

Site work continued after the weekend build with the volunteer help of:

  • Fran & Nelson Garrow, Garrow and Sons Landscaping and Excavating, Belchertown
  • Steve Hulmes, ST Hulmes & Sons Excavating, Belchertown
  • Steve Williams, Belchertown DPW Director
  • Aaron Oldenberg, Mountainview Landscape, Chicopee
  • Brian Anderson, BA Builders, Belchertown

Where is Jessica’s Boundless Playground?

locationIt just occurred to us that volunteers not familiar with our town may not know where to show up for this weekend’s Community Build!

The site is located on Route 202 in Belchertown (AKA State Street), across from the Police Station. If you want to plug an address into your GPS, use the school’s: 59 State Street, Belchertown, MA 01007. Look for the entrance to Chestnut Hill Community School and drive right into the driveway. You won’t miss all the happy commotion going on!

Once you arrive at the site, please park away from the action. There’s plenty of space in the upper lots near the school building.

We’ll see you there!