District leaders and community members of Littleton Public Schools gathered Sept. 14 to cut the ribbon on a new turf field at Eugene Field Elementary in Centennial.
The event caps months of fundraising for the $100,000 project that included a coin drive, grassroots donation campaign and funding from community partners such as the Littleton Public Schools Foundation.
"It's just been wonderful to see the progression of what we can give our kids when they come outside," said Eugene Field Elementary Principal Joe Hayes.
Littleton Public Schools Superintended Brian Ewert said it was during a spring retreat last year when Hayes pitched his idea for the new field, which he suspected may have had to come out of the elementary school's budget.
But after hearing this, members of the Littleton Public Schools Foundation — which includes businesses, parents and school administrators — pledged to cover the remaining amount from whatever was raised for the project.
"It's almost like Joe taking a leap of faith knowing that this community would step up and do the right thing for the kids," Ewert said. "And it's great to see this happen."
Donations came in from individual residents, retired teachers and nonprofits, something Ewert said "just does not happen at all school districts."
Beth Best, executive director of the Littleton Public Schools Foundation, called it a "beautiful example of our community coming together" and thanked donors for their support.
"When we talk about Field, we talk about community," said Amy McCandless, president for Littleton's Parent Teacher Organization, who recalled how more and more money began to flow in for the project as fundraising efforts ramped up.
"Every single person making this project possible, and these kiddos love it," she said. "They have an amazing turf field to play on. I've been out here — they've been doing cartwheels and kicking the soccer ball and running around playing tag, and it is just so amazing to see."
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