First, a heartfelt thank you to Dunkin' Donuts and HoneyDew Donuts (both on Main Street in Stoneham) for their generous donation to our bake sale, and to the two Girl Scout troops, who were wonderful greeters and Easter Egg Hunt staffers. Thank you also to the local home bakers who contributed to the bake sale. Their involvement is making our efforts to rebuild AP Rounds Playground a true community project.
However, if you were one of the large number of attendees at the Rebuilding Rounds Easter Egg Hunt this month, we would like to apologize. In the days following the event several people have expressed disappointment with the way that the event was organized. While we received a lot of positive feedback, it is important to us to learn from criticism. It was certainly never our intention
to leave anyone unhappy with what should have been a wonderful family outing and community event.
Easter Egg Hunt Grows in Popularity
The Easter Egg Hunt was a fundraiser for the rebuilding of AP Rounds Playground. It was advertised as a free hunt where donations would be welcome. Based on the RSVP count and traffic to the project website, interest was estimated at about 650 people with an additional “word of mouth” assumption of 50 percent over stated RSVP for a maximum total of 975 people. Comparatively speaking, last year’s hunt drew about 200.
The event was funded by the members of the Rebuilding Rounds Executive Committee. Although many businesses were contacted in the months leading up to the event, no local sponsorship was found. As such, the committee purchased more than 2,000 eggs and stuffed them all by hand. We simply did not have the resources to obtain more.
The result was an event that was oversubscribed, understaffed and where some children were left frustrated and disappointed.
A Need for Improvements
We realize now that last year’s event was not a valid template for this year’s turnout. While it was impossible to anticipate the level of interest on the day, it is possible to learn from our mistakes, and we are making every effort to ensure that future events are successful by reaching out to the community for help, support and advice.
The Rebuilding Rounds Committee was formed by three neighborhood mothers to rebuild a play space and ignite a grassroot movement to advocate for play in Stoneham. The opportunity to play is essential for the physical and social development of our children.
A Community Project
Several Stoneham seniors have reminisced with us about their enjoyment at AP Rounds when they were little and the playground was in great shape. Local parks are a community resource that provide more than just a place for children to play, find friends and make memories. They serve as a meeting place for new parents and if we can play close to home rather than drive several miles to a nice playground, we can help create a vibrant local community and economy.
Parks are free to use, but not to build. For this community effort to come together we need more families, more townspeople and more individuals to help. We need donations of money, hands, materials, expertise, enthusiasm and connections to others who can help. We are a small team with a large dream to make a difference.
Our next planned event is Stoneham Family Day, a family event at Stoneham Common with music, rides, crafts, artisans and an electronics recycling fundraiser, on June 23.
As a group, we have learned a lot from our efforts at the Easter Egg Hunt. We are asking those of you with real know-how and ideas to please, please step forward to make the Stoneham Family Day a success.
To contact us to volunteer or to support our efforts, visit the project
website or email email@example.com.