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Northfield Kiwanis competes against 141 other clubs for playground equipment

Recorder/Paul Franz
Lane Construction of Northfield donated time and equipment to re-construct a play structure at the Kiwanis Park on School St in Northfield. Putting the puzzle back together are Chris Porrorecchio, Eric Nelson and Marcus Curran.

Recorder/Paul Franz Lane Construction of Northfield donated time and equipment to re-construct a play structure at the Kiwanis Park on School St in Northfield. Putting the puzzle back together are Chris Porrorecchio, Eric Nelson and Marcus Curran.

NORTHFIELD — The local Kiwanis Club is competing against chapters worldwide for $25,000 in playground equipment.

Last year, the club was able to buy playground equipment from the now-closed Holy Trinity School in Greenfield for a deep discount, at $500. Lane Construction Co. donated workers and equipment to take apart, transport and reassemble the structure at the 223 School St. park.

The club would like to offer more fun for local families.

Northfield’s chapter is just one of 142 Kiwanis clubs competing worldwide in the organization’s Make a Difference Through Play contest, with a prize of $25,000 in playground equipment. If they win, it will make a nice addition to the structure the club put up last year.

Stephen Seredynski, president of the Northfield Kiwanis, said there’s a lot of competition, and he doesn’t expect to win against bigger chapters in metropolitan areas, which he feels are sure to garner more votes.

“We thought it would be worth a shot, and it’s a way to get our name out there, and let people know what we’re doing,” said Seredynski. “We did it just to try it out, and see what kind of support we get.”

The club has been working on several improvements to the park. After an October 2011 storm ripped down its out-of-code power lines, the park’s wiring was all redone, with Western Massachusetts Electric Co. donating their materials and labor to install new poles and re-string roadside lines, a $2,000 cash donation from an anonymous family, and some work by club members to the wiring on the park’s grounds.

Since then, the park’s kitchen has received some upgrades, and club member Philip Watson put together the framing timbers for a performance stage and storage shed, soon to be completed.

Though $25,000 of free playground equipment would be a welcome addition to the park, the club will continue to improve the park, win or no win. Next on the list is landscaping.

Club projects and awards come out of a reciprocal relationship with the greater community. Members are always looking to meet local needs, and Northfielders have a long track record of contributing to the club’s coffers.

Later this summer, the Kiwanis will hold their second-annual community clambake. No date has been picked yet, but everyone will be invited to the event, which serves as a fundraiser for park projects.

Other club events, like its annual golf tournament, help raise money for the Kiwanis’ community service and scholarship funds. It will be held Sept. 27 at the Northfield Golf Club.

Kiwanis Park is available for rent, at $100 per day for Northfield residents and organizations, and $150 for out-of-town groups. The fee gets use of the kitchen, barbecue pit, bathrooms, the pavilion with picnic tables that seat 70 to 80 people, and the park grounds, with horseshoe pits and plenty of space to set up volleyball or badminton nets and other outdoor activities.

When the park isn’t rented out, it’s available for families to enjoy. Use of the park and playground is permitted as long as children have adult supervision.

Votes for the contest Kiwanis clubs will be accepted until June 15. After that, the top 10 will go to the next phase, and the winner will be announced June 20.

Vote online

To help the Northfield Kiwanis’ chances, vote for the club on the contest website, goo.gl/dI4wm. To see what the local club’s been up to, visit their page, at www.facebook.com/pages/kiwanis-club-northfield-mass.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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