Fundraiser in Syracuse to benefit Chloe's Sunshine Playground fund

Mar 14 2012 - 8:06pm

SYRACUSE -- Proceeds from an evening filled with unique artwork, hand-thrown ceramic pottery and warm bowls of soup will be donated to help build a playground designed for disabled children.

Students, teachers and local volunteers met at Syracuse High School on Tuesday night to participate in an art show event designed to raise funds for the future Chloe's Sunshine Playground at 2000 W. 1800 South.

The third annual event was coordinated by students in Syracuse High's Interact Club, a branch of the Northern Wasatch Rotary.

Interact Club members solicited art for display from surrounding elementary and junior high schools, as well as art from several area high schools. Several local adult artists also donated their time to participate in the show.

Ceramics students from Syracuse High donated 200 hand-thrown bowls, which were then filled with soup made by students in the school's ProStart program, and sold for $5. Guests were also charged a minimal fee for entry to the art show.

"There are approximately 6,800 children in Davis County with special needs, and the nearest special needs parks are in Logan and West Jordan," said Cindy Bringhurst, president-elect of the Northern Wasatch Rotary.

The park will be outfitted with such features as wheelchair friendly surfaces, double-wide wheelchair ramps, auditory and sensory equipment, and swings to accommodate children in wheelchairs.

When Michelle Liegert, Interact adviser, learned that there wasn't an ADA playground within 50 miles of Davis County, she decided it would be a good cause for this year's art exhibit.

"I thought the kids would like it; not only because it helps a special demographic, but because they are going to be in the community and they might have kids here someday. They might have kids with special needs ... and they might be really grateful that they have a place for them to play. It's a cool project," Liegert said.

She also pointed out that the art show provided students with the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Conner Anderson, 17, Interact Club president, was very proud of the work his fellow students had created. He pointed out sketched portraits, scenic paintings, pottery and life-sized sculptures throughout the exhibit.

"It's surprising how artistic the students are," Anderson said.

The art on display was created by students from fourth through 12th grades.

"If you look at the pictures of the playground, it's cool to be able to see and know that you were able to help with it, and realize you actually did something good for someone other than just yourself," said Brayden Macfarlane, 17, member of the Interact Club.

The Syracuse Charitable Foundation has received many donations from organizations and companies throughout the community to help build the park. Construction will start on the playground once enough money has been raised to complete the project.

Organizers of the art show hoped to raise $2,500. A local company, Modern Woodmen, pledged to match all donations dollar for dollar up to $2,500.

According to Bringhurst, the city is about halfway to its goal of $400,000.

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