Feather Sound Community Playground Build and Grand Opening
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It took a day to build but two years of planning! In May of 2005 Chris Merritt and Debbie Tucker attended a Feather Sound Community Services District (FSCSD) board meeting with a proposal for a playground and other enhancements to the Earl Maize Recreation Area in Feather Sound. A committee was formed and lots of meetings and planning followed. The committee decided to get the entire community involved in the process with the added benefit of saving $30,000 in project labor costs. The “Community Build” concept called for residents putting the playground components together in one day.

 

On Saturday, April 21st, about 120 volunteers gathered early in the morning at the recreation area. Many of their children were cared for at Feather Sound Community Church. Pinellas Park Home Depot brought their Race Car Kids Building Workshop in so they could also enjoy some building fun. At the recreation area Community Build volunteers started with coffee, drinks and food provided by neighborhood businesses. Next was a short orientation, name tags, warm up exercises and a pep rally led by our fearless leader and tireless driver of the playground project, Chris Merritt.  What followed was an extraordinary day of neighbor helping neighbor, meeting old friends and making new ones, a few sore muscles and in the end an amazing demonstration of what we can do together as a community.

 

The grand opening of the playground was held the next day on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Biff Baker, chairman of FSCSD, thanked Pinellas County for the playground grant, the hundreds of community residents who contributed their time and support, local businesses for their generous donations and the Feather Sound Play-Space Committee for their years of planning and organizing the project. Pinellas County Commissioner and Feather Sound resident John Morroni praised community residents for a job well done. He expressed thanks on behalf of the Pinellas County Commissioners who were honored to participate in a project that will be a source of community pride for years to come. Our own Feather Sound Domino’s provided free unlimited pizza and the Feather Sound Country Club provided free drinks and desserts.

 

The ribbon for the ribbon-cutting ceremony was made of paper links glued together the day before by the children at Feather Sound Community Church. The ceremony was short much to the satisfaction of the children impatient for the real fun to begin. Adults quickly stepped aside to avoid the stampede that followed. Children flooded the playground in less than 10 seconds. If the smiling faces of the children were any measure of their approval then there was no doubt the months of work by their parents and neighbors was very well worth it!

 

The board members of FSCSD would like to recognize -

 

Pinellas County for the grant of $231,000.

 

The Feather Sound Play-Space Committee. Chris Merrit, Deborah Tucker, and Suzanne Hebert. The Community Build Team Leaders:  Debbie Wilson – Administrative; Carolyn Thames -Childcare; Pat Moriarty – Food & Beverage; Steve Ochsner – Construction; David Hood – Tools & Equipment. Their countless hours of preparation made the build day and grand opening an outstanding success. 

 

All of our community volunteers but especially our Most Valuable Build Volunteers Steve Ochsner and Greg Kasson. They went way beyond the call of duty. Ask them about their bailing buckets and cage expansion!

 

Our local Feather Sound Businesses and Supporters. Thank them with your patronage!

Lonnie's Deli

Antonio's

Starbucks

Panera Bread

Sebastian's

Courtside Grill

Domino's Pizza

Chick fil A

Feather Sound Country Club

Feather Sound Community Church

The Feather Sound News

Publix

Home Depot – Pinellas Park

Berry Merry Clowns and Characters

Lori Tong Photography

The UPS Store

Graphic Services for the T-Shirts

The Mallard Group for graphic design

Bob Hicks--Sound System

Skip and Jan Olney

Earl and Kathryn Maize

Tucker & Ludin, P.A

FastSigns of Clearwater

Johnathon Jones Signs

First Response Construction

Carl Sagro, Rep Services and Landscape Structures

Al Bosgraaf & Sons Construction

Sterling Management---Gary ‘the Water Man’ Vaselman, property manager of Audubon Villas and Crystal Bay who was a great help with his Golf Cart and 300+ bottles of water and ice.

 

Last but not least a very big thank you to all the residents and neighbors of Feather Sound who made this possible. Children, their parents and a generation of those to follow thank you for your time and support of this wonderful addition to our neighborhood.

 

We could go on to tell you how much fun and what a fantastic event this was but more than 500 pictures of the build day and grand opening do it better. Lots of photos of the Community Build - See what we did in one day!