Volunteers raise $100K for new playground at Hinckley Big Rock Elementary School

HINCKLEY, ILLINOIS (WLS) -- A group of volunteer parents in west suburban Hinckley raised $100,000 over the past four years to fund a new playground at Hinckley Big Rock Elementary School.

Ashley Hughes, who is both a parent at the school and the school's secretary, led the entire project from start to finish.

"Our playground was over 20 years old," Hughes said. "The school district had to keep replacing parts, and it just wasn't feasible to keep putting money into an old playground."

Hughes put together a committee of six moms, who collectively led fundraising efforts for four years. As the 2020 school-year approached, they had only reached two-thirds of their fundraising goal.

"We were short about $35,000, and our school district ended up footing the rest to complete the project," Hughes said. "That was a board meeting I will never forget because it was the icing on the cake."

Around 15 volunteers were working at the school on Tuesday, September 1, finishing up some of the playground assembly. A local gardening shop has promised to donate mulch and ground supplies once construction is complete.

"I honestly take a lot of pride in our hometown community," said volunteer Kolt O'Donnell, who graduated from Hinckley Big Rock. "A small town community is always nice. We all help each other whenever we need something."

Hughes is hoping to finish construction as soon as possible for students, who began classes in-person last month.

"To see a small town come together and donate money and their time is something that is just so amazing," Hughes said. "I can tell you that everybody helped."
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