Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula’s Hawthorne Elementary School needs some help, and Principal Brittnie Keilman is looking to the upcoming Missoula Gives campaign with some big dreams for a big need.

I spoke with the principal this week about her dreams for a new, safe playground for her elementary school kids.

Hawthorne Elementary School has some Big Dreams for Missoula Gives

“Our playground is pretty old, and if you were to compare it to other playgrounds around town that have been upgraded, you'd see that ours has a lot of rust,” began Keilman. “We have some equipment that just old. See saws (teeter totters) that are not safe equipment for students, and we have some vandalized equipment that is simply no longer useable. We've also lost some equipment this year due to just wear and tear.”

Keilman said due to Hawthorne’s location and lack of retail property in the area, they are mostly forgotten when it comes to fundraising.

Hawthorne School is somewhat Remote and Away from Retail Centers

“We're kind of out in the valley, and there are not a lot of businesses around us. “Other schools have some really close-by business partners, but we don't have a lot of those out here. So we decided to go big and we filled out the Missoula Gives application and got all of our stuff in order, and we're hoping to reach out to the bigger Missoula community for some help.”

I asked Keilman if any of her neighbors had volunteered to build some playground equipment for the children, but she said it’s just not allowed.

“I actually have to go through approved vendors (of playground equipment) through the district, and so we can't. “We've had people offer to build things but we're not allowed to have self built playground equipment for the school. So we are looking for money in order to work with an approved vendor to put in some new structures. We do also have to extended resource rooms in our school so we have some students with some mobility issues, and we'd love to put in some accessible playground equipment as well.”

Keilman is Looking for Big Things from Missoula Gives

Keilman compared her dreams for the school with her actual budget.

“They can range honestly between $100,000 and $200,000 currently,” she said. “In the last three years we have been able to raise $20,000. So we're going to continue working and see what we can get. Our ultimate goal is somewhere between $100,000 to $200,000 to put in some brand new stuff.”

Read More: These Nonprofits Raised the Most Money During Missoula Gives

According to the Missoula Gives website, ‘Missoula Gives & Bitterroot Gives, an initiative of the Missoula Community Foundation, is a 26-hour celebration of the Missoula and Ravalli communities. It connects generous Missoulians and Bitterrooters with the causes they care about. It is a day to celebrate and support the role nonprofits and donors (like you) play in making our Missoula & Ravalli communities great.’

Missoula Gives will take place on May 2 and 3.

You can go on the Missoula Gives website and select Hawthorne Elementary School to see an informational video and place your gift.


Gallery Credit: KC

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