emw playground

Playground Project of the Boys and Girls Club of Elma, Marilla and Wales

Creating a spacious, inviting playground area for boys and girls to enjoy the great outdoors after school, on weekends and during summer months is the goal of a new campaign announced today by the Boys and Girls Club of Elma, Marilla and Wales.

The proposed 7,020 square-foot space featuring modern playground equipment and safe surface material would be constructed adjacent to the Boys and Girls club property at 2080 Girdle Rd, across the street from Iroquois schools. Adding the playground marks the first significant improvement since a campaign created the 8,000 sq. ft. building on three acres two decades ago. The playground addition is the feature of an 18-month, $175,000 project campaign.

“We want to take advantage of our greenspace and create a place where boys and girls can enjoy more time outdoors, get exercise and connect with friends and family members,” said Tracey Karp-Theal, who has served as executive director for 27 years.

“It’s a project we’ve talked about and dreamed about for many years, and it’s time to move forward. Our boys and girls need additional play area and our membership is booming.”

The Boys and Girls Club has 850 registered members and serves about 200 boys and girls each day from its three-township service area. Programs are supported by three full-time and 13 part-time staff.

Project Boosted Through Pledge from The Butterfly Foundation

Although for many years the playground concept has been considered a need by the Club’s board and staff, the project took a big step forward through the generous support of another local organization.

The Butterfly Foundation, a non-profit organization celebrating the life of Katie Durkin, has pledged an initial gift of $50,000 to jump-start the Boys and Girls Club playground project campaign.

The Butterfly Foundation just completed funding and coordinating the brand new Butterfly Athletic Park, 4650 Woodchuck Road, East Aurora, N.Y. The athletic and activities park located next to Wales Primary School will be dedicated June 17.

“Thanks to the amazing generosity of those who helped create the Butterfly Athletic Park, we are now able to ‘pay it forward’ and help get the Boys and Girls Club playground project underway,” said Jeff Durkin, The Butterfly Foundation chairman. “It is such an honor to see first-hand how our community steps up to support our next generation.”

Durkin said the $50,000 pledge was made possible by community members who provided financial gifts, labor and supplies that caused the Butterfly Athletic Park to be completed under budget.

Durkin said The Butterfly Foundation is the beneficiary of several special fundraisers and activities throughout the year that encourage youth to be “KATIE” – Kind And Thoughtful In Everything – honoring Katie Durkin. Occasional grants for special projects such as the Boys and Girls Club playground project are envisioned from those proceeds.