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Organizing and Fundraising Phase

With the goal of raising an entire play area in five days, the volunteers got to work. They organized materials (some were purchased, others were donated), tools (takes a lot of tools to build a dragon), food (why not feed everyone who volunteers to help?), child care (and let’s take care of their kids, too), transportation (parking can be a problem in downtown Missoula), publicity (hear ye, hear ye), kids (they’d done a great job so far, let’s keep them involved), and a million other items.

The Arts & Design committee found a myriad of ways to involve area children. The kids decorated nearly a thousand bricks and pavers with mosaic stones and jewels, which became benches near the party pavilion. Other children painted pieces of Trex, which were assembled into a colorful patchwork throughout the playarea.

Donors had the opportunity to purchase a picket in the fence surrounding the playarea and engrave it with a name or saying. With nearly 1,000 pickets at $50 each, sales were a large part of the donations for the project. Several other items, such as slides, dragon heads, body parts (including the stomach), and benches were sponsored by individuals, families, groups and businesses.

Organizers also created A unique-to-Missoula project to raise public awareness; residents were encouraged to recycle used grocery bags, one of the materials used in Trex. One volunteer went to local stores once (or twice) a week to collect bags from specially decorated boxes. While the project received no funds from recycling the bags, this very ‘green’ community was drawn to the push for recycling and pleased to know recycled materials would be used in the playarea.