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Tiger Rally playground system installed as school year ends

Westside Elementary School now has the playground system that it raised money for through its “Tiger Rally” fundraising drive last March.

The playground was put in place quickly on the Westside campus. The dirt was turned last Tuesday, and students were playing on it on Friday.

“They told us that they would have it set up and ready in one day,” said Parent-Teacher Association president Pam McKinley. “We wanted to hurry up and put it in place before the school year was over, so that these kids could come out and enjoy it.”

The Tiger Rally was a fundraiser in which Westside students received pledges based on the number of exercises they did during the Tiger Rally event, including an obstacle course, jumping jacks and laps around a course. Community members made pledges as well as donations to help the school get the new playground system.

“They earmarked the money before we started the fundraiser,” McKinley said. “To be honest, I was kind of skeptical, in this economy, that we could raise the money for something of this magnitude. I’m very proud the students pulled it off. The teachers did a wonderful job of getting it all together for us.

“The playground system cost $27,000, The PTA put in more than $14,000, so we were able to cover over half. The school was able to get money from outside sources to help finish covering the expenses. We took the money that they raised in Tiger Rally, left them with a minimum operating balance in their account and we paid the remainder.”

Those wanting to join the Demopolis PTA — which tends to the needs of Westside and U.S. Jones Elementary School — should contact Pam McKinley by e-mail at pam9238@bellsouth.net or call (334) 289-9238 or (334) 341-1233.