The Friends of the Pappas Recreation Complex is working to raise funds to build a playground at the Pappas Recreation Complex. A playground was part of the original site plans, but had to be eliminated when construction bids came in higher than expected.

The Friends group was formed in 2011 as a fund raising organization to restore other items that had to be cut from the original Pappas Recreation Complex plans including lights, artificial turf, picnic pavilion and dugouts. Their attention has now turned to raising the approximately $180,000 needed to build the playground.

Playground SloganThere are several prongs in this latest fundraising effort.  The group has been submitting grant applications to area corporations and foundations that support youth, fitness and recreational projects.  They have also been selling tee shirts during Concert in the Park series at the Pappas Recreation Complex Pavilion.  Finally, the group is pushing a grass roots campaign to get Auburn residents and businesses involved in the project.

The latest fundraiser is a character breakfast on November 10 at Pakachoag Church.  From 9am – 12pm, there will be a breakfast buffet with a number of popular children’s characters visiting tables, interacting with children, playing games and more.  Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door and can be reserved by visiting www.pappasrec.org.

The grass roots campaign has been dubbed “Slide to the Finish”, a reference to the popular playground mainstay as well as the fact that the playground is the last major element missing from the Complex.

Earlier this summer, Drs. Arthur and Martha Pappas announced a challenge grant program, offering to match the Friends’ fundraising efforts up to $50,000 through March of 2014.  The scramble is on to raise enough money to receive the full challenge grant benefit.

Several fundraising events are on tap, and the Friends emphasize that they are grateful for donations in any amount.  Donors contributing $250 or more will be recognized on a gratitude plaque near the entrance to the playground.

If you are interested in donating money or time volunteering with the Friends the Pappas Recreation Complex, please visit www.pappasrec.org or call (508) 648-7614 for information.  The Friends next meet on November 19 at 4:15 at Pakachoag Church and potential volunteers are welcome and encouraged to attend.