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Recess takes on a whole new meaning

Early Monday morning Powell Butte Elementary School was the site of an excited unveiling of shiny new playground equipment.
   Many grade school children waited anxiously on the sidelines as PTC (Parent Teacher Committee) member Diane Umbarger thanked students for helping to raise the needed funding. She also took the opportunity to remind them of generous contributions from businesses and members of the community which made the dream of playground equipment a reality for their school.
   "This is a gift from all of you to the school," she said. "Appreciate it and respect the fact that it belongs to all of you."
   As soon as the ribbon was cut, marking the `official moment', kids rushed forward in a jubilant swarm of enthusiasm.
   Raising the $11,700 to purchase the equipment was a two year long coordinated effort involving students, parents and staff.
   According to Umbarger, students helped to decide what kind of equipment they would like to have at the school, based on options painstakingly researched and provided by the committee.
   Once the initial planning was out of the way, school carnivals, PTC committee fundraisers and adhoc donations, plus a grant from Howard Cross Foundation all helped to make new playground equipment a reality.
   Umbarger said that the equipment was purchased from Northwest Recreation who also helped to design the final product.
   Over the holiday break parents of Powell Butte School students and volunteers joined forces to erect the structure just in time for the first recess early Monday morning.
   "It was a lot more work to assemble than we anticipated," Umbarger said. "We have a lot of people to thank."
   Watching children play on the new equipment was the school's principal Jan Boles who seemed almost as excited as the kids. "I would just like to thank the PTC," she said. "We have such a supportive group of parents and they work so hard. This really is a dream come true for students and teachers."