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Happy 4th of July!

Florence Family YMCA gets Pepsi Refresh playground

June 30, 2010

The Florence Family YMCA opened its new playground Tuesday thanks to funds from Pepsi Refresh.

Megan Patterson, YMCA childcare director, said this is her seventh summer at the Y. She had been trying to get a playground at the YMCA for six years when she heard about the Pepsi Refresh grant.

“It’s my baby,” Patterson said of the playground. “...I’ve never been to a facility that didn’t have a playground.

“I was thinking, knowing that we had been working on fundraising, that this was going to be awesome,” she said.

The YMCA partnered with Florence’s Pepsi-Cola bottling company and submitted their refresh idea.

“I think they needed a playground here for a long time. Any project that gives kids something to do is a good project,” Frank Avent, general manager of Florence’s Pepsi Cola, said.

After a month of voting, the public chose to fund the project. The project received $5,000 from Pepsi Refresh and $5,000 from Florence’s Pepsi-Cola bottling company.

One of the reasons for the new playground is to help the kids get more exercise.

“Kids see the playground equipment as a lot of fun and don’t realize the recreational and the fitness they get out of it,” Patterson said.

Seven-year-old Darius Holmes said he loves the new playground.

“There’s all kinds of new stuff that we can play on,” he said.

Darius said he likes to monkey bars best.

“I like to do it when I put my feet on there and hang on it,” he said.

“The kids love it. The staff were as excited as everything because I did not tell anybody until I knew that they were actually going to start and getting the equipment ready to go,” Patterson said.

Pepsi Refresh accepts 1,000 ideas each month. Up to 32 projects will receive funding.

To submit an idea for a service project or to vote for ideas seeking funding, visit http://www.refresheverything.com online.

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