Country Ace customers cover playground costs |

Country Ace customers cover playground costs

Country Ace Hardware owner and manager Amy Kaplanis (right) presents a check to Granby Elementary PTA president Emily Hagen (left) who as Hagen's children look on.
Courtesy photo |

For the past two years the Granby Elementary PTA has had their hands full with a massive playground renovation project but as the volunteer organization neared completion of the $50,000 upgrade they found themselves about $4,500 short on funding; that was when the local business and consumer community stepped in to lend a hand.

Amy Kaplanis, owner and manager of Country Ace Hardware in Granby and parent of a Granby Elementary student, heard about the need and had a unique idea for addressing the funding shortfall.

“When this happened, one thing we talked about, as a vehicle, was something Ace makes available to us called ‘Round Up’,” Kaplanis said.

Many customers of Country Ace will be familiar with the program, which is also utilized at other retail institution. Round Up operates on a simple concept. When customers make a purchase, whatever the final figure, they are asked if they want to “Round Up” the purchase to the next whole dollar figure, with the balance between the purchase and the rounded up total being donated to specific causes, in this case the Granby PTA’s playground project.

“If you spend $1.50 and round up, 50 cents would go toward the playground,” Kaplanis explained. “Over a month customers were able raise $4,500 just through change. For us it was really awesome that we had such an outpouring from the community.”

In just over a month Country Ace customers raised the needed funding. But the local community was not yet finished giving. When the folks at Winter Park Dental heard about the funding shortfall they also pitched into. Together the dentist’s office and customers at Country Ace raised over $5,000. Additionally Mountain Parks Electric and Town of Granby also helped with the playground project, providing help to unload equipment and move the large playground equipment pieces for installation.

Granby Elementary PTA President Emily Hagen was thrilled with the community support.

“We were really just blown away by the support,” Hagen said.

Work on playground project was just wrapping up as classes got started in East Grand last week. The PTA has essentially wrapped up the playground project for now. They still have tentative plans though to tackle the large wooden structures on the playground at Granby Elementary this year, sanding and resealing the popular structures to add a few more years of life, but expect to finishing replacing the entire playground in future years.

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