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Once Upon a -- Playground

SOMERS, N.Y. -- There is a new project afoot at the Primrose School and its organizing committee is asking for help.

The Primrose School, devoted to grades K through 2, has two playgrounds. The smaller one is used by the kindergarteners, the larger one by the other grades. The large playground was built and provided with play equipment 20 years ago. Time has taken its toll. Both the area and the equipment do not measure up to the space required for the current student body, now over 400 children. Much of the equipment is obsolete or beyond repair.

Since the Somers Central School District budget cannot stretch to finance the project, a group of volunteer parents and administrators has united to raise funds. They are asking local businesses to donate a portion of sales to the fund.

One of the businesses that has readily agreed to participate is Once Upon a Child , located next to Chili’s at Somers Commons.

Once Upon a Child sells new and gently used children’s items, including clothing, toys, bicycles and baby equipment. It does not take donations. Rather, it purchases items outright. They must be in like-new condition. The items are then resold to other customers.

Owner Craig McMaster explained, “For the entire month of July, we’ve been donating 10 percent of our sales to the fundraiser -- but only if the customer mentions the Primrose Playground. On Tuesday, July 26, though, we donated 10 percent of all of our sales to the fundraiser.”

Customer Katrina Hernandez was there to sell some items and buy some items. “I have a toddler now and a four-month-old, so my space it limited. So I sell what I don’t need and buy what I need. They outgrow things so fast.”

Salesperson Sam Marshall, 17, of North Salem, said, “Most people bring in stuff and take stuff out. With the fundraiser going on, a lot of people who are getting cash back donate it to the playground instead.”

McMaster and his wife have been living in Purdys for about 12 years. They opened the store last June. He used to work in marketing, she was a graphic designer. “But we wanted to get more involved in the community and we love kids,” he said. This is the store's tenth fundraiser.

If you make a donation to the Primrose Playground fund through Once Upon a Child you will receive a receipt for tax purposes.

The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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