Letter, Opinion

Many to thank for the successful completion of Kids’ Kingdom


Dear Editor,

In 2019, after an extensive state inspection, Killington Elementary School was faced with the looming reality of a deteriorating Kids’ Kingdom in need of replacement. In the spring of 2021, Parents and Educators Aligned for Killington Students (PEAKS), the parent organization at Killington Elementary School (KES), began the endeavor of raising funds for a new playground to improve accessibility for all students pre-Kindergarten through grade 6. 

PEAKS was charged with this incredible task amidst the impact of a global pandemic. Yet, their dedication to the project and the generous support of the surrounding community made the seemingly impossible become a reality.

Nearly 80 local businesses, organizations, families and individuals made monetary donations reaching nearly $100,000 to help us build a new playground. These donations are represented by custom monogrammed bricks that are embedded in a walkway to the new playground. Several community members dedicated endless hours in order to prepare the groundwork to install Yeti Kingdom, as named by the students of KES.

Thank you to everyone who made monetary donations to this project, particularly Killington Resort and Casella Waste Management who ignited our beliefs early on in the fundraising campaign that we could reach our project goal. We could not have done this without you!

Thank you to PEAKS for their tireless efforts in raising funds to construct the initial phases of Yeti Kingdom. You are a dedicated team supportive of the mission of Killington Elementary School and are valued for much more than your fundraising abilities. A special thank you to the PEAKS Fundraising committee members Lorelei Danilchick, Missy Karr, and Sarah Zack for your dedication to and exuberance in this project.

A host of people must be thanked for their contributions in making the Yeti Kingdom a reality: The town of Killington, Ricky Bowen and the road crew were essential in expediting heavy equipment for parking lot preparations, earth moving and other materials whenever necessary. A special thank you to the town for storing materials when winter weather shut down the installation progress. You really came through for KES!

Additionally, the Killington-Pico Rotary Club recently erected an 8×12 outdoor classroom on Yeti Kingdom that will soon be outfitted as a weather station. It is intended for KES students to begin to gather daily weather data, document weather patterns, and build an awareness of weather impacts on our daily lives. Flooding deterred the ability for employees to assemble this building and Killington-Pico Rotary Club came through for us. Our students would not be able to engage in this opportunity during this school year if not for their volunteerism. Thank you Killington-Pico Rotary Club!

The construction of Yeti Kingdom has greatly benefited from the knowledge, foresight, and persistence of one volunteer in particular: Jim Haff donated a tremendous amount of time as a volunteer to assist in all aspects of the project’s configuration and installation. He could be counted on to provide constructive feedback, especially when it was difficult to recognize forward progress, and to “do the leg work” to make happen. Thank you, Jim, for supporting KES, not only during this project, but also as a community member who genuinely cares for the children and families of Killington Elementary School.

Killington Elementary School invites school families and all those who contributed monetary and in kind gifts to a Grand Opening of Yeti Kingdom on Aug. 28 at 4 p.m.

With sincere appreciation and gratitude, 

Mary Guggenberger, principal of Killington Elementary School

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