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Friday, September 30, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesVolunteers Clean Up Winston Raymo Playground

Volunteers Clean Up Winston Raymo Playground

Workers were busy Saturday morning putting the finishing touches on the new Winston Raymo playground park on St. Thomas.

Heavy machinery pushed sand and gravel while volunteers painted, cleaned and darted here and there readying the new and improved play area for children they were expecting later that morning.

It was all part of a collaborative effort between U.S. Virgin Islands government, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, and life insurance company Foresters.

Wherever the company holds events, Foresters dedicates some time improving the community they are visiting. They contacted the Community Foundation asking if there was any way they could help out while they were staying in the Virgin Islands. The non-profit group linked Foresters with the Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation, which was already looking into improving local playgrounds.

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All three groups then worked together figuring that the playground at Winston Raymo, overrun with weeds and home to a few rusty pieces of equipment, could best be served.

“We chose this community because we know it’s been troublesome,” said Ellie Hirsh of the Community Foundation. “This seemed to be the most blighted.”

She said by installing new equipment, special activities for preschoolers, and a gazebo, they hope to bring people who may have been pushed into isolation by fear and crime back outside and into the park.

“It really is a treat to us,” said Larry Noyes, vice president of U.S. sales for Foresters. He said participants eschewed the lure of beaches and boats to get up early and pitch in.

“That’s how special this is to us. We’re thankful to the community for allowing us to help out.”

The company has held similar community service events in Bermuda, Portugal, Mexico and Costa Rica.

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