Resurrection of Our Lord Church in Rhawnhurst has begun raising money for a planned playground at Shelmire Avenue and Large Street.
The church is trying to raise $20,000 and hopes to break ground in May on a play area designed for children ages 2 to 12. Parishioner Theresa Guinan, who is spearheading the effort along with the Rev. Jim DeGrassa, said the concept has been in the works for some time.
“It really started when we had an idea a good three years ago,” said Guinan, who is a retired teacher. “It was just a thought: What could we do to improve our school?”
Guinan said they want to use Mayfair Memorial Playground, near Lincoln High School, as a model for the project. It will include at least two slides, a climbing wall and possibly a garden and a mural.
Currently, the area, which is on the corner of the church property, is empty, DeGrassa, Resurrection’s pastor, said.
He said the playground would be open to the public.
“It’s a nice family area, and I think anything the brings the community together–it’s a safe place for them to be and to play–is always a good thing for the neighborhood,” DeGrassa said.
“Our kids need to be outdoors,” Guinan said. “As much as it’s great to learn in the classroom, you’ve got to learn outside the classroom, too, playing along with each other.”
The area will be called Pat’s Memorial Playground in honor of Guinan’s son Patrick, who died last year. He enjoyed taking his young daughters to playgrounds, she said.
Dedications may also be included for other deceased members of the parish, Guinan said.
Lighting and fencing for the project are already in place, according to Guinan. She said they don’t want the proposed play area to become a hangout for teenagers looking to cause trouble.
A beef-and-beer fundraiser for the playground will be held Saturday, April 13, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Resurrection’s gym and hall, 2000 Shelmire Ave. The cost is $35 and includes food, beer and soda. The Paul Moore Band, an Irish folk group, will be performing.
DeGrassa said donations for the playground are also welcome. For more information, call the parish at 215-745-3211. ••