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Playground construction went on despite rainy weather

Playground construction at St. Catherine School in Kapa‘a went on last weekend as scheduled, despite the bad weather.

Parents and other volunteers were determined to get the playground up and running before the children got back to school on Monday, they said.

“We were going all day Friday and all day Saturday,” said parent Donna Palmer, who has three children attending St. Catherine.

“We were determined to stay there till it was done.” That meant working in the rain, and without a lot of sunlight.

“It rained the whole time,” she said. “And we were on a time constraint with people here from the Mainland and everything, so we had to get it done.” The $28,000 in playground equipment was donated by former Kaua‘i residents James and Betty Ziemkowski, who also happen to be Palmer’s parents.

When visiting Kaua‘i in December, they researched playgrounds, and picked out what they felt would be best for the school. They ordered the equipment, and said they would return again in March to help with the setup.

Shane Walsh from Play Hawaii and his assistant Ann Miller, from O‘ahu, also flew in over the weekend to help in construction.

Palmer served as the volunteer coordinator.

“I worked on everything, coordinating, making sure everything was here and there, and making sure there was food for all the volunteers,” Palmer said.

One of those volunteers there the whole time was Terry Villabrille.

She said the weather didn’t deter her from working on the playground.

“It’s extremely important for the children, for the parish families, and the communities. It’s something for them to act out their energy and learn to share,” Villabrille said.

“Everyone really had a gung-ho attitude about it. As long as everybody was willing to work, we were fine with (the weather). We’re used to working till it’s dark.” When the construction of the playground was completed, St. Catherine’s new priest, the Rev. Edgar Villanueva, came out for the blessing of it.

“It looks fantastic,” Villabrille said. “I’m more than overjoyed with the playground. I’m very happy with it.”

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or


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