Not Your Average Swing & Slide

Pipestone Flyer

   "I wanna play on that rocker thingy over there!" "Well, I want to ride the twirlly thing!" You might think grade one students were being interviewed.  But, no. These were adult volunteers from the community, and beyond, who came to the Thorsby Elementary School playground on May 30-June 1, 2013 to assemble a futuristic looking playground from sturdy silver, royal blue, and red parts. Halfway assembled, and using a little imagination, the equipment could easily pass as something that might be found on a K Days midway!  Even half-finished, it embodies the promise of a lot of fun. 

        On Thursday, the very first day of the weekend-long project, it didn't seem to matter to the volunteers that they were digging holes in the pouring rain.  

        "They were up to their knees in mud!" said the official project mover and shaker extraordinaire, Shawna Ofstie. "It was so challenging.  Everything was more difficult because of the rain; but they didn't complain—they just…DO! I am so impressed with the way the community pulled together to make it happen." 

         The pumper truck for the cement had to be cancelled because it was making deep mud ruts, leaving the cement to be hauled by hand and by Bobcat. No worries. No complaints. Just lots of team spirit—this is the stuff of which those from Thorsby are made!

        Thorsby Elementary Parent Association (TEPA) President Kim Chung, who organized the volunteers, said the community not only helped with the building, but also with homemade food contributions.  Seven or eight high school students dropped by to help. Then, there were the corporate volunteers.  

        "Thirteen ATCO Gas employees showed up from the surrounding area, Wetaskiwin, Edmonton, and even Calgary to volunteer through their Day of Caring program," said Chung. "They even brought us a BBQ lunch!" Chung noted that the Bank of Montreal, KollBrook Esso, and Proactive Solutions also showed corporate generosity through donated meals.  

          On Sunday, Chung was thrilled to report the volunteers had finished at 6:30 Saturday evening, a day earlier than expected.  "It only took two full days.  It is not completely done because of a few missing parts; but the wood chips are coming on Tuesday and then we should be done with what can be done.”  A basket swing and a cube climber will be coming from Finland later. Chung credits the speedy assembly to the amazing workers—a total of 115 on site over three days—some with kids currently in school, some with kids not quite ready for school—who plied their tools, volunteered their construction expertise, or directly helped support those who did. 

         The $240,000 playground was designed by Peak Play Sales & Distribution of St. Albert. TEPA fund-raised an awe inspiring $130,000. 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Sharon Hickin, general manager of the Days Inn Sylvan Lake and the new Lake House Diner, poses for a photo outside the new restaurant. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Pandemic puts extra hurdles in place for new Sylvan Lake businesses

Over the past seven months numerous new businesses have opened in Sylvan Lake, despite the pandemic

Rachel Notley, leader of Alberta’s official Opposition, speaks in Edmonton on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Notley says the government needs to sharply ramp up the number of contact tracers if it wants to get a handle on the rising number of COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Opposition calls for more COVID-19 contact tracers as case numbers rise

Alberta has about 800 tracers, and chief medical health officer Dr. Hinshaw says more are being recruited

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. Hospital and health-care workers who staged a one-day illegal walkout returned to work Tuesday while politicians swapped recriminations and accusations in the house over the dispute. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta health staff return to work, surgeries resume after one-day walkout

AHS estimated 157 non-emergency surgeries, most of them in Edmonton, had to be postponed as a result of the walkout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Most Read