Community channeling grief into renovations Local elementary school dedicating improvements to lost loved ones

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Troy’s elementary school is improving it’s playground for the benefit of the students and to remember lost loved ones.

The first phase of Morrison Elementary playground improvements was completed last summer, and plans are in place to continue improving this summer with the addition of tether ball and four square courts.

These improvements are especially meaningful to the Troy community, as phase one, which includes the main playground equipment will be dedicated on a June 1st parent night to Destiny Tallmadge, who died in 2013 at age 20.

Tallmadge was often seen volunteering at the elementary, and was loved by many kids. Jada Schnetter, Tallmadge’s mom, says “Destiny had a true passion and love for children.”

Phase two will be dedicated to local mother Laura Cooper, who was killed March 14 in a car accident. Cooper was a substitute for the district and her son attends Morrison Elementary.

“Phase one was made possible by many local donations and volunteers” says Elementary principal Diane Rewerts. “Jill Francom, who has a degree in horticulture with an emphasis on urban design, volunteered her time to do all the planning and designing.” Local businesses also contributed heavy machinery and labor.

Funding also came from students.

Rewerts speaks proudly of this year’s sixth graders, and their enthusiasm for fundraising for the new playground

“It was really cool, they were second graders in Mrs. Miller’s class and they just kept asking me ‘when can we start fundraising?’ and so I finally gave them the go ahead and they did bake sales and concession stands and ended up raising just over $1,000. So now, as sixth graders, they will get to see the completion of the project. They have been really wonderful leaders in this.”

Along with a majority of local funds, including a $7,250 grant from Troy Parks and Recreation, and a surprise annoymous $10,000 donation, funding was received through a Dr. Pepper grant. “The $15,000 from the Kaboom grant through Dr. Pepper allowed us to buy the main playground equipment, at a cost of $38,000” says Rewerts.

Funds are currently being raised to contribute to phase two. To make a donation in Cooper’s name, please send checks to Troy Public Schools. A dedication ceremony will be held for Cooper in the Fall.

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