After two years of hard work, one 11-year-old Newcastle boy is making his dream of having a playground in his town a reality.
Cole Phillips, who is 11-years-old, is proud to have been born in Newcastle and he said he enjoys hanging out with his friends in the city’s park.
“And we just hang around up there and ride bikes. Do tricks on our bikes. And just eat ice cream up there,” Cole said.
But something is missing.
“Some kids don’t have the chance to go play,” Cole’s friend, Lynlee Terrell, said. “Some kids have to drive all the way to Graham or Olney to go play on a slide and it’s just a slide. I just feel bad for the kids who want to go up to our park and play.”
“And our park is kind of runned down, which is what my project has raised money for because we don’t even have a slide there,” Cole said.
With the help of a few friends, the ‘Cole’ project was born.
When Cole was just 9-years-old, he decided to raise money for a slide by getting permission at city council to set out donation jars in city hall.
“I believe it was my second meeting – I was nervous,” mayor Gina Maxwell said. “And in comes this little boy and speaks up… ‘I would love to speak with council about setting donation jars up.'”
With the permission of city leaders, donation jars around town raised about $2,000.
Then, after the Newcastle reunion, natives brought in $7,000 more.
Now, nearly two years into fundraising, The Olney Advocate newspaper decided to donate all of its funds from this up coming Saturday’s summer concert.
“Well, I came in here to interview Gina Maxwell on a story and it was in passing that I learned about the ‘Cole’ project. And if you’ve met Cole and you’ve met Gina, you can’t drive away from that without wanting to help,” Kurt McCord with The Olney Advocate said.
But the city will not only receive donations from the concert. It was revealed to Cole on Friday, before the concert, that a donor also wanted to help.
“So an anonymous donor has said she is going to match 10,000 dollars in donations,” McCord said.
“I’m speechless. So thankful right now,” Cole said.
After a few years of hard work, Cole is finally seeing his dream come to light.
All of the money raised now is going to be able to buy other pieces of playground equipment too.
The concert is this Saturday at 7 p.m. at The Main Room in Olney or 202 E. Main Street. There will be three bands and a suggested donation of $10.