MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Jake Davidson and William Lamar have been best friends since they were little. During that time they could be found at Planet Playground pretty often. Today they are seniors at Lamar School and raised over $50,000 this past summer to help renovate the now abandoned playground.
“When we were little we used to always go play and just spend weekends and days out there with our friends and it helped our parents get us out of the house and get some energy out,” Lamar says. “So now that it’s shut down it’s really just been a bad thing for the community; we need a place for everybody to play.”
William got involved with this project through the Eagle Scouts, while Jake was inspired to do it after volunteering for a summer camp.
“This past summer I volunteered at a camp for children with disabilities, and so when I came back, this project for the playground that also has ADA compliant and handicap accessible components, I felt like I was definitely going to hop on that, so me and William got together and we got on the project.”
It was recently announced that the Downtown Optimist Club would match donations of $100 or more that are made through the end of the year, up to $10,000.
“It’s great that [the Downtown Optimist Club] would have such support for this project and hopefully the community will have the same, equal support,” Davidson says.
The old playground will begin to be torn down on November 16, with construction on the new one set to begin by March.
“To get things started off was a little more difficult because we had to make the initial contact and just kind of set up the meetings, but once we got into it we started rolling pretty fast,” Lamar says.
The fund for the playground is being held at the Community Foundation of MS. If you would like to donate, checks should be made payable to the foundation with ‘Planet Playground Fund’ in the memo line. The mailing address is PO Box 865, Meridian, MS 39302.
You can also donate online at the website cfem.org.