‘It is blood, sweat and tears and the community pulls through’

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Volunteers work on day six of the community build of The Wolfe's Den playground at Wolfe Park Sunday.

MONROE, CT — Whirring sounds of drills and circular saws filled the air Sunday, as an army of volunteers swarmed the construction site for The Wolfe’s Den playground, climbing ladders, using cement mixers and assembling components, all in a final flurry to finish the project on day six, the last day of the community build.

Leathers and Associates designed The Wolfe’s Den to replace the wooden Kids Kreations playground and the Monroe Playground Foundation, a nonprofit heading the project, organized volunteers to build it throughout the week.

Businesses, like Sippin Energy Products, and civic organizations like the Rotary Club of Monroe, brought teams of volunteers, and police officers and firefighters also joined the effort with parents of various skill levels.

“Everyone is friendly and doing what they can to help,” said Tara Berwick, a parent. “I’m happy to be back today. It’s not like work at all, and I got to use a circular saw and other power tools for the first time. When someone showed me how to do it, it was fine.”

David Sippin said his family’s business donated $10,000 to the playground project. On Sunday, he brought 23 volunteers for the community build.

“It’s a great project,” he said. “We try to support major causes in town. Even though we serve 30 towns, Monroe is our hometown. It’s been a lot of fun working with different people.”

“Wolfe Park is such an asset to the town,” Sippin added. “It’s great to support the park. It’s just amazing. So many people are doing skilled work.”

Dan Keene, chairman of the Monroe Playground Foundation, said the hope was for the project to be 99-percent complete by the end of Sunday, so only a punch list would be left to go over on Monday.

Build days were from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. since Tuesday, but Keene said an extra shift was added for Sunday, extending the work to 9:30 p.m.

Alice Pulliam, who chaired the building committee for the Kids Kreations playground in 1992, was among the volunteers on Sunday. She stood back and looked at the progress. Swings, slides, towers, fencing and much of the decking was already installed.

“It is blood, sweat and tears and the community pulls through,” Pulliam said. “It’s just amazing.”

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