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Marines, community join Project Playground

By Sgt. Phuong Chau | | June 12, 2003

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More than 15 MCLB Albany Leathernecks joined other local volunteers Friday to refurbish the Sherwood Elementary School playground as part of the Project Playground Program.

Every year Home Depot donates materials, money and people to renovate a park in the Albany area. This year, Sherwood Elementary School?s playground was selected and Marines and other volunteers were on hand to help, including Outback Steakhouse?s food donations for all those who helped.

Dark clouds and rain could not stop the Marines and volunteers from Outback Steak House, Home Depot, Cumulus Broadcasting and Sherwood Elementary from painting jungle gyms, trimming shrubbery and cleaning the area.

Marines such as Cpl. Val Saucedo of the Special Training Allowance Pool simply wanted to put in a hard?s day work. 

?It feels good to help somebody out,? said Saucedo, a Texan. ?It is a good thing to do - to volunteer every now and then.?

Cpl. Charlie Garcia agreed that it was nice to help the community. He also pointed out that leaving the office and working with Marines he would not normally have the chance to work with was rewarding.

?It builds camaraderie and esprit de corps,? said Garcia. ?I?ve gotten to know a lot of Marines I would not have a chance to know otherwise. And it?s a great opportunity to get to know some of the local people too.?

Garcia, an Odessa, Texas, native, participated in last year?s Project Playground. He characterized the program as successful because it helps the community and builds friendships among Marines and local citizens.

?We do this every year,? said Corberd, a volunteer from Home Depot. ?We enjoy working with the Marines as much as we do knowing we?ve brought the children?s playground back up to par.?

The community definitely appreciated the help from the Marines and the other volunteers, said Catherine Whitfield, assistant principal at Sherwood Elementary.

?It so exciting to see so many people out here working,? said Whitfield. ?I think it is wonderful. Everyone is out here and really working. We are just thrilled.?

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