Pass Christian is getting a new playground. The gift is from Kids Around the World out of Rockford, Illinois. And it should be open by the end of the week.
Paul Swanson is with Kids Around the World. His first job was to cut octagon shaped piece of plywood for the new Pass Christian playground. Swanson just turned 65. He could be retired. Instead, he's building playgrounds.
"I love kids. It's the only reason I do it," Swanson said.
Once he was done cutting the eight sided boards, his friends placed them at the bottom of holes dug into the ground. Those holes provided the base for Jerry Flaming's latest creation.
"A playground is where kids can find joy and happiness," the director of this project said. "A lot of kids around the world don't have that."
On a Trinity Church lot that still had scars from the storm, Kids Around the World gave Pass Christian children hope that they could have fun again.
"We build playgrounds all over the world so kids can enjoy life and to be a kid, and play," said Flaming.
Lou Rizzardi coordinated the project for Trinity Church.
"Kids need to have activities," Rizzardi said as he watched the first playground poles go into the ground.
The playground site is less than a block from the Mississippi Sound.
Rizzardi uncovered a whole new group of friends when Kids Around the World brought almost $100,000 worth of playground equipment to south Mississippi.
"We as a church want to, shall we say, combine with the community to help out youngsters and families, people like that, just to have a more comfortable environment. And this is something I think will provide that," Rizzardi said.
In this case, it was provided by six men from Illinois who have as much fun building playgrounds as children do climbing on the equipment.
"Sometimes the older you get, the more aches and pains you get. But no, we're having a good time," laughed Framing.
Kids Around the World donated the manpower for the Trinity Church playground project. Samaritan's Purse donated the money used to buy the equipment. The playground contractors have until Friday at 4:00 to complete their mission. That's when a dedication ceremony will be held, and the slides will be overrun with happy children.