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Pioneer PTSA raises $12,000 for playground

From left, Pioneer Elementary teacher Lori Adams, teacher and parent Mikelle Barnett, and Barnetts mother Vaila Powell all browsed through the yellow table at the silent auction of the Pioneer Elementary Parent Teacher Student Associations Nov. 4 fundraiser. -
From left, Pioneer Elementary teacher Lori Adams, teacher and parent Mikelle Barnett, and Barnetts mother Vaila Powell all browsed through the yellow table at the silent auction of the Pioneer Elementary Parent Teacher Student Associations Nov. 4 fundraiser.
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ARLINGTON With an estimated crowd of more than 120 auction bidders and paying diners, the Pioneer Elementary Parent Teacher Student Associations Nov. 4 fundraiser, for their proposed new community playground, raised more than $12,000 toward their goal.##M:more]##
According to Pioneer Elementary PTSA President Michelle Jaromin, the three contractors with whom the PTSA has inquired have given them an average figure of $25,000 for the installation of a new playground structure. Since companies such as Boeing and Microsoft have agreed to match their employees donations made at the event, Jaromin estimated that the funds raised so far come close to half of the total monies that will be required for the playground which she believes will place the project on a two-year timetable.
At our Nov. 14 PTSA meeting, well be deciding what type of follow-up fundraiser we want to do in the spring, Jaromin said. We could do a cookie-dough fundraiser, like we did this past spring, or we could do a walkathon. In the past, such events have generated about $3,000-5,000, so wed still have to do another big fundraiser next fall.
In the meantime, parents, teachers and other community members walked away with items such as golf clubs, still-life photos on canvas, a basketball and a piece of hardwood signed by this years Sonics team, as well as a football signed by Warren Moon, tickets to a sold-out Seahawks game against San Francisco this December, tickets to any University of Washington Husky Football home game during the 2007 season, tickets to a premier concert series at the Everett Symphony, and even a ride to school on an Arlington Fire Department engine.
Pioneer Elementary Parent Denise Schwans has one child in fifth grade and another in 10th grade at the high school, so she swung by the auction to place a few bids in support of a good cause, since she agrees with the idea of giving kids more to do during recess, which is one of the goals of the proposed playgrounds addition of slides and climbing areas, to the current structures focus on upper-body strength, monkey bar-style play, as identified by Jaromin.
At the same time, Schwans emphasized that the playgrounds location in a public park would make a community resource, able to be enjoyed by children other than Pioneer Elementary students.
Pioneer Elementary administrative intern Matt Whitten has been at the school for five years, but he continues to be impressed by the ways in which Pioneer families really rally around these causes, while sharing Schwans sentiments about give kids more options, keeping them busy and letting them have fun.
Recess has always been an area that our PTSA has focused on in the past, Jaromin said. Now, wed like to focus on outdoor activities, and improving those for all the students and children of our community.

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