WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Fundraising efforts to build a new playground in Waveland before the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina are off to a good start. But organizers say they still have a long way to go and need your help to make it happen.
The playground equipment at Elwood Bourgeois Park is nearly 60 years old, out-dated and isn't without a few safety issues.
"So what we're doing is we're building a park to code to make sure it's safer and fun for all ages," said Mickey LaGasse, Volunteer Construction Coordinator.
The new modernized playground equipment will transform the look of the park.
"Lots of slides, lots of swings, it's going to be bright, it's going to be colorful, and it's going to be something to attract a lot of children and families to this area," explained Project Manager Tammy Raymond.
After seeing what the transformed playground will look like, the children playing on the old stuff could hardly believe their eyes.
"It looks really bigger this one is really small," said Myah Favre of Diamondhead.
Her friend Gabby Haas, agreed, "It looks more funer and a little bit better than this one."
The Where Angels Play Foundation was started by retired New Jersey Firefighter Bill Lavin. Lavin will bring a team of volunteers down to build the playground a week before the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The playground will honor Waveland's Carl and Edgar Bane.
"Two boys, autistic, died in the horrific storm with their parents," said Raymond.
It won't be the first playground the New Jersey firefighters have built in the Bay-Waveland area.
"This project goes back to 9/11 when some students reached out to New Jersey firefighters sending letters of support. Those firefighters reached out to our students after Hurricane Katrina. They built us a playground at North Bay Elementary School that the kids could play on when they didn't have anything," Raymond said.
That pay-it-forward tradition will continue when the firefighters return to the coast in August.
A massive fund-raising effort is underway in New Jersey and here on the Coast to build the $150,000 playground. So far locally, $10,000 has been generated for the project. If you'd like to contribute, you can send a check to:
Where Angels Play Waveland Playground Project
724 Dunbar Avenue
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
You can also contribute through the project's Go Fund Me page: http://www.gofundme.com/eges4k
Or contact Gerald Rigby CPA at (228) 467-5744 or Tammy Raymond (228) 304-0259.