GARDINER — Tookie Amosum remembers the old metal slide and free-standing monkey bars behind the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Gardiner.

Amosum spent much of his youth at the club, first as a child then as a program assistant working with teens during his high school and college years.

The 23-year-old National Guardsman is thrilled to hear the slide and monkey bar would be replaced with a $33,000 playground that has sections suitable for toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children.

Ingrid Stanchfield, the club’s chief professional officer, said the club raised $16,000 since fundraising began in 2008 with Greg and Debra Couture, of West Gardiner, and Roger and Dawna Gregoire, of Gardiner, contributing leadership gifts.

She said Kennebec Savings Bank gave a $10,000 matching grant and Bangor Savings Bank gave a $1,000 grant to the project. Peter Prescott, owner of EJP, and John Fallona, owner of On Target, both donated $5,000 and volunteered the use of their equipment and manpower.

Amosum volunteered this week to help build the new playground. He spent Tuesday morning setting up playground sections, bolting the metal and plastic pieces together and back-filling the holes with dirt.

Amosum, a recent graduate of St. Joseph’s College, said he believes the new playground will give the kids an opportunity to get outside and run around.

“This will give them the push to do that,” Amosum said. “From working with the kids for many years, I know they would have definitely liked something like that, to have more to play on and not be so confined.”

Stanchfield said Eric Welzel, from Miracle Playground Equipment in Brunswick, will arrive on Monday with the rest of the equipment, which he will install with the help of community volunteers.

She said the fundraising took four years because the organization wanted to raise as much as it could before asking for donations. She said it raised $16,000 and then this year asked for help from the Kennebec Savings Bank, Peter Prescott and John Fallona.

She said McGee Construction was hired to do the groundwork.

Kody Peckham, 23, of West Gardiner, attended college with Amosum and also serves in the National Guard.

Peckham said he was glad to help with the construction of the playground.

“It’s a good cause, and I knew the kids would have fun on it,” Peckham said. “And it’s been a good time working on it.”

Stanchfield said the children were excited about the new equipment.

“Every time they come in they say, ‘Is it done yet? Is it done yet?,'” Stanchfield said.

Steven, 5, one of the children playing water games in a makeshift playground in front of the building, said he was looking forward to playing on the playgrounds bridge with steering wheels. Six-year old Brynn and 5-year-old Alyssa want to slide down the fire poles and hang from the new monkey bars.

Stanchfield said the new playground will be open to the public from dawn until dusk, seven days a week.

Volunteers are still needed to help with a variety of tasks for the project, she said.

People who want to volunteer can call Stanchfield at 582-8458.

To celebrate the new playground and as a “thank you” to the community, the Boys and Girls Club will hold a Day for Kids, 12-4 p.m., on Sunday.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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