COLUMBIA FALLS – The Fraley family in Columbia Falls is stepping up to help after discovering kids were playing on a dirt and weed-filled piece of land at the local Boys and Girls club.
There are several pieces of play equipment that have just never been put together.
“Really we’d like to get this slide built here along the side of the building. We’d really like to be able to have tall planters for the kids to get into (using) a sandbox and hopscotch,” explained Shawn Fraley.
Shawn and his wife Annika want to transform the play yard.
“During the summer it’s hot, it’s dusty it’s dirty, there’s no place for them to sit, there’s no place for them to play. So, it would be really important for us as parents and for the other parents in the community to have this,” says Fraley.
The Fraleys have three kids and two full-time jobs, Annika says the Boys and Girls Club of Glacier Country is a trusted space for them to send their children.
“I really can’t even fathom our life without it. It’s a huge part of our life,” explained Annika Fraley.
Cindy Hooker with the Boys and Girls Club was overjoyed when she heard about the upgrade.
Hooker started her career with the Boys and Girls club in Tennessee and has been the executive director at the Columbia Falls’ location for three years.
She told MTN News that the Columbia Falls location services over 100 kids but see around 60 kids per day.
“I was just blown away with all the work and dedication that they’ve gone into,” says Hooker.
“If kids aren’t somewhere safe and with adult supervision, after school, they’re going to get involved in things that they shouldn’t be doing,” she continued.
“They have a higher risk of being involved in risky behaviors. So it’s very important that our communities have a place for them to go after school that’s fun (and) safe,” Hooker explained.
Reused and recycled materials will be used for the play area, but the Fraleys still need donations to make this upgrade possible.
The estimated price is around $1,000 and the Fraleys are hoping to have all donations and the new play area complete by June 22.
If you are interested in donating, supplies can be dropped off at the Boys and Girls Club location at 540 Fourth Avenue West in Columbia Falls.