Something is better than nothing.
That was the message emphasized to students at Evans elementary as they waited to find out if their inclusive playground project had been selected by Aviva Community Fund for top dollars.
After months of planning, voting, waiting, hoping, Evans learned Tuesday morning it was not among the 10 grand prize winners.
But not before principal Gabe D’Archangelo spent a good half hour pumping his students up, ensuring they knew how appreciative their hard work was, and how far they had come in a short period of time.
“We became a community, everybody with one goal in mind,” said D’Archangelo, of the four-month Vote4Evans cause. “It was no longer just about you guys, it wasn’t.”
D’Archangelo went through the years, showing his students how when they’d started seriously fundraising for the playground three years ago, they had $5,000. In two years they had $16,000. And with the $5,000 they’d won for making it into the Aviva finals, they now have almost $23,000.
“We did not get all the money, but you know what, we got something,” D’Archangelo said. “We didn’t get zero dollars, we got something.”
The news wasn’t what the school wanted to hear, but D’Archangelo wasn’t going let his students walk away disappointed.
“I think it’s really, really important that you are happy with that,” he said. “When you think about it, we got $5,000 in a very short time when it took us two years to do that on our own.”
Soft clapping, quickly turned into a gymnasium full of enthusiastic cheers – they got something.
The school is not giving up on the project. It still intends to put shovel to ground next December.
It needs $98,000 to do so.
“Now we have work to do, we all have work to do,” D’Archangelo announced. “Because we’re a great school, and you are great kids, and we deserve this, our school deserves this.
“We need your help. We need the community’s help.”
For more information, or to donate to the school’s playground, contact the school at 604-858-1796.
A tax receipt will be provided for any donation over $25.
Sept: 30, 2013: School wants to make playground accessible for all students
Nov. 28, 2013: Final push for inclusive playground