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Fremont Elementary celebrates playground donation

The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the donation of a playground at Fremont Elementary on June 17.

The Fremont Elementary School playground was donated in memory of Dana H. Wells, who was a lifetime resident of Minoa with his wife, Barbara Wells. They are the parents of ESM graduates Kimberly Wells Gilberti and Michael Wells.

"Children need to play. It's a healthy part of the learning process, but also a happy part. I know my dad would be so proud and we are absolutely thrilled. The 'thank you' is the sound of the children laughing and seeing them play - it's a great, great day," said Kimberly Wells Gilberti as children played on the structure after the ribbon cutting.

Donated by William Gilberti and Joshua Heintz of Loon Creek Properties, LLC, the playground equipment was originally located at the Central New York Charter School for Math and Science in Syracuse. The donors made arrangements to relocate the entire playground to Fremont Elementary.

"My father-in-law loved to see children smile. To be able to remember him in this way is very special to us as a family. There is nothing better that we could do," William Gilberti said.

The structures were carefully disassembled, transported and re-assembled with the addition of a stone base. Riccelli Enterprises and Ground Effects donated their services in collaboration with the ESM Buildings & Grounds Department for the relocation and preparation of the new site.

The play environment includes two slides, play panels and several climbers. ESM and the Fremont community greatly appreciate this generous donation.

Fremont Principal Janice Ahlsen told students, parents and guests at the ribbon cutting that the donation has accelerated the school's ability to build an entire playground.

"This completes Phase II so now we can start working on Phase III, which will be an intermediate age playground," she said.

The Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is raising funds for the project.

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