Hamels Foundation pays to rehab Phila. playground

HUNTING PARK - August 8, 2012

They paid to rebuild a playground, make a greenhouse, paint a mural and much more at Bayard Taylor Elementary school in Hunting Park.

The principal, Debra Drossner, watched this summer as their empty school yard was transformed into a place to climb, to slide, to spin and to enjoy.

"You are living my dream with me," said Drossner.

The playground was made possible through a $300,000 grant from the Hamels Foundation.

Cole and Heidi Hamels helped more than 100 volunteers put the finishing touches on the project.

"Giving them something they're excited for, that hopefully will help propel them to learn," said Hamels. "You want them to make good decisions in life and, obviously, be a good influence to everybody around them and we're hoping this will be kind of a stepping stone."

A massive mural made by many eager hands now brightens up the school. There's a greenhouse to learn healthy living, a soccer field, a basketball court and tables for checkers.

One student Jerry Aponte, bravely squared off against the all-star! When we asked how Cole did, Jerry said "He was good." When we asked how he did, Jerry said "Not so good!"

But for the Hamels, they say it's these kids who are really the all-stars, and they should know it.

"We do notice you, we do care, your teachers care, your principals care. And with that amount of hope I call it, that propels you to become a better person," said Heidi Hamels.v The Hamels spoke of how this project is an investment in this community and in these children.

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