Spruce Glen students flying high thanks to Huntsville Lions Club and local businesses

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Sam Lockwood starting asking it in grade 1. Why didn’t his school yard have a swing set like some others did? He wanted one, and he never stopped asking. He’s now in grade 7 and he and the other students at Spruce Glen Public School finally got their wish, just in time for Christmas.

A new swing set was installed in November thanks to fundraising by school parents during the last school year, mostly through a pre-paid gift card program, donation of labour and equipment from local businesses HLD Construction, DaviCor Construction and Muskoka Rent-All, and a $3,000 donation from the Huntsville Lions Club. Three club members were at the school on November 30 to present them with a cheque.

The cost of the swing set came in at more than $5,000 and includes a barrier-free accessible swing. Construction on the swing set began in late October, but the project was delayed a bit thanks to the early snow which meant Shannon Lockwood, a member of the parent fundraising committee who oversaw the project and also Sam’s mom, was out in the school yard, shovelling snow so they could put in the sand.

“The kids were hovering, looking over our shoulders, waiting for us to finish,” said Lockwood.

“We thought it was a great project (when Shannon approached us),” said Huntsville Lions Club president Mark Urbanski. He said the club is in the process of rebuilding—some members from the Stephenson Lions Club have moved over to support their Huntsville counterparts—and with nearby Chaffey Hall under club ownership, making the first charitable contribution of the revamped club to the school just around the corner made sense.

Students presented the Lions with a thank you card and said, “We love our new swings!”

(From left) Spruce Glen principal Kelly Picken and parent volunteer Shannon Lockwood accept a cheque from Huntsville Lions Club president Mark Urbanski, vice president Casey Noble and treasurer Bob MacDonald

(From left) Spruce Glen principal Kelly Picken and parent volunteer Shannon Lockwood accept a cheque from Huntsville Lions Club president Mark Urbanski, vice president Casey Noble and treasurer Bob MacDonald

Spruce Glen principal Kelly Picken thanked Lockwood for her dedication to the project, to cheers from the students, during a morning assembly. “She was the brains and the brawn behind the swings that you got,” she said.

Lockwood, in turn, thanked the Lions for their support. “We couldn’t have done this without them,” she told students, adding, “I’d also like to thank my son Sam for never giving up and asking me each year when the swings were going in.”

To fundraise for other community projects, the Huntsville Lions Club, in partnership with the Stephenson Lions Club from Port Sydney, is selling Christmas trees for $50 each on Friday nights and Saturdays in the lead up to Christmas at a lot on Centre Street next to Festing Toyota.

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