Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Dustin's Adventureland Proceeds with Phase 2 of All Inclusive Playground Construction in Minersville

On Tuesday Evening the Board of Dustin's Adventureland voted to proceed with the Construction of Phase 2 (Install of Equipment) of the All Inclusive Playground Project located within the Beautiful Minersville Recreation Complex.
Although the Board is still approximately $25,000 short of the goal, it was decided to plan a groundbreaking date, Construction dates and unveiling events.

The board was recently notified that if the Construction did not happen within 90 days they would face a possible $48,000 increase on the rubber surfacing and installation. This increase would be on top of an increase of over 40% for the fencing. Both increases are due to the inflation and rising fuel costs.
"This has been a very long time coming and we are beyond thrilled to have dates set for everything to come to fruition" Vice President Jeffrey Dunkel stated.

"Even though we are short of the goal, we are confident we can raise the rest within the timeframe and if need be, myself and President Jim Womer have committed to covering expenses until the money is raised. We could not possibly turn to our supporters and ask to raise an additional $60,000 or more or push this off until next year, so we need to act now", Dunkel added.

Jim Womer, President of Dustin's Adventureland and owner of Womer Landscaping will be installing the playground with his workers at no cost to Dustin's and stated that he "has always wanted to build one of these facilities in Schuylkill County and the stars just aligned with this project and my vision along with Dunkel's and Amy's, so it was meant to be".

Amy Freed is Dustin Freed's (playground namesake) mother who helped spearhead the Special Needs Egg Hunt 4 years ago which the funds remaining from that event snowballed into a possible handicap swing and then avalanched into a half million dollar project.

"There are honestly no words to describe the feeling I have about the upcoming build of the Dustin's Adventureland in August. Everyone has worked so hard for this and to know it is finally becoming a reality, it truly feels great! It has been many endless hours of event planning, working at the events, board meetings and advertising that got us here. Also the public has been a huge support and we thank you! Finally we will have a place for all children with abilities and disabilities to go to and interact with each other. Also it will be a place that parents who have children with disabilities can meet and share stories. I think this is the missing piece to this area. Now our community is going to be complete. This is also going to be a place where children can learn about all of the different types of disabilities that others may have. Dustin always gets excited to see his name on posters, signs and shirts but to see his face when this is complete, is going to be priceless and the best feeling in the world. I'm just trying to take this all in and enjoy every second of it", Freed stated about the upcoming build.

Right now the board plans to break ground on July 25th with some prep work and larger equipment installation. Starting August 8th for approximately 2 weeks the board will be looking for volunteers and part of the community to help with the build. "Having seen many projects like this invite the community to be involved with the build of such an amazing and unique project, it gives the participants a sense of ownership and they will always remember the effort put forth and keep an eye on the facility as well" Womer stated. It is hopeful the Rubber Surface will be installed the week of August 22nd and the area will then be cleaned and prepped for the opening week events.
The Board plans to hold a Mixer event on August 31st, a private party for donors, supporters and elected officials on Sept 1st and then a Family Fun Event on Fri Sept 2nd and Sat Sept 3rd.
The board of Dustin's Adventureland would like to thank everyone for all of their support with a special thanks to Minersville Borough and its previous and current board members, WJP Engineering, Recreation Resource, M&T Bank, Senator Argall and former State Rep Neal Goodman.
"On Behalf of the Board I have to give a special shout out to our President and Playground installer, Jim Womer for his commitment to this project and for his company and family jumping on board with this project and saving us close to $100,000 during phase 1 and 2 of this project. He has gone above and beyond to make this happen and sacrificed alot to make this incredible dream a reality", says Dunkel

Dunkel also thanked all previous and current board members who have helped in anyway with this project and fundraising, "To have a very small group of volunteers be able to pull off fundraisers, and secure grants and in kind contributions of nearly $500,000 during a pandemic to cover the first 2 phases is absolutely amazing and speaks volumes of the members and their determination to have this facility open on Schuylkill County".

If anyone would still like to donate to help Dustin's Adventureland meet their goal, there are still sponsorships available, billboards, and engraved bricks and blocks. You can reach out to Dustin's by their FB page or Jim at 570-640-4771 or Jeff at 570-527-6040.