A tree trunk sculpture looks over the scorched site of what was once the main play structure of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

A tree trunk sculpture looks over the scorched site of what was once the main play structure of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

Dream Playground build dates tentatively scheduled

Variety of fundraisers set to contribute to cost of new facility

PORT ANGELES — The Dream Playground could rise from the ashes before area schools break for the summer.

A community build is tentatively planned between May 14-19, said Steve Methner, president of the Dream Playground Foundation.

“If the stars align and the funding aligns, I think we’ll be able to pull it off,” Methner said Thursday. “My dream is to have the playground ready for kids to play on by the time they are out of school this year.”

Donations poured in for a rebuild after the Dec. 20 blaze that shot flames tree-high in the playground at Erickson Playfield, 302 S. Race St., melting most of the equipment, which was made of structural plastic, recycled plastic and powder-coated metal.

The Dream Playground Foundation announced earlier this month that it had raised between $140,000 and $150,000 for the rebuild, which is estimated at this time to cost in the mid $500,000 range.

At this time, the foundation “is in a holding pattern,” waiting to see the response to the city’s insurance claim.

“While keeping our fingers crossed about insurance, we are still pretty confident that we will have to raise a substantial amount on our own through private donations and business support,” Methner said.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested shortly after the Dec. 20 blaze and has been charged with first-degree arson.

A status hearing was set for Thursday afternoon and on Feb. 5 is scheduled a findings of fact hearing, where questions regarding the facts of a case are decided.

The Dream Playground was first built by volunteers in 2002 and refurbished again by volunteers as the Generation II Dream Playground in 2021.

Fundraisers are coming up for the upcoming rebuild of the Dream Playground, with the first on Saturday.

Tickets are available on the Dream Playground website at https://www.padreamplayground.org/news.

• Dream Playground Rebuild Acupuncture Fundraiser at Blue Heron Acupuncture & Wellness — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 832 E. Eighth St.

For a donation to the Dream Playground, visitors can opt for one of four 30- to 40-minute acupuncture treatments: Stress Relief, Energy/Immune Boost, Athletic Recovery or PMS Relief. The suggested donation is between $30 and $100.

“If you have ever been curious about acupuncture, this is a great way to try it out for the first time,” Blue Heron staff said.

“New patients are welcome at this event. For acupuncture regulars, this is also an excellent way to sneak in a little extra stress relief or Immune support in between your regular treatment plan.”

Anyone with cold or flu symptoms is asked to stay home.

To help the fundraiser move smoothly, personnel urge that scheduling be done online. One can schedule on the Dream Playground Foundation website or at www.blueheronacuwellness.com. Click the Schedule Now button in the upper right hand corner and select Dream Playground Fundraiser Acupuncture at the bottom of the treatment menu to choose a time.

For more information, call 360-417-8806 or emailinfo@blueheronacuwellness.com.

• Pajama Party at Field Arts & Events Hall, 201 W. Front St., Port Angeles, Wednesday evening.

The screening of the film “Mitchells vs. the Machines” is free to attend with donations collected for the Dream Playground rebuild. All food and beverage proceeds from the evening also will be donated to the reconstruction efforts.

Kids and adults are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas.

The Sunset Bar & Lounge opens to the public at 4:30 p.m. Kid-friendly food and drink menu will include vegetarian meat balls, hot dog plate and Caesar salad boats. A full bar menu will also be available.

The film screening begins at 6 p.m. in the Donna M. Morris Theater.

Space is limited. Reserve theater seats at www.fieldhallorg. No RSVP is required to visit the Sunset Bar & Lounge.

The event is sponsored by Green Crow Foundation and Field Arts & Events Hall.

In the wake of the December fire, hundreds of individuals and many local small businesses have stepped up to support the efforts to rebuild.

“I am just in awe of the total and immediate support our community has shown,” Methner said. “We clearly value kids and families as well as the facilities that enhance quality of life. What a town!”

Kayla Oakes, director of education and artistic engagement at Field Hall, reminisced on her own family’s connection to the playground.

Her children, now 16 and 18, met others there for play dates and birthday parties.

“It is where they learned to play hide-and-seek, pump their legs on the swings (and take turns), and make new friends,” Oakes said. “In fact, I helped paint the scales for the dragon slide during the original build ... working with a local artist to create her vision. ... many fond memories of my kiddos’ childhood and community gatherings happened at the Dream Playground.”

• Mardi Gras Night Party, Elks Naval Lodge, 131 E. First St., Port Angeles, 7 p.m. Feb. 3.

Tickets are $10 at the door or online.

Elks Riders 353 helps veterans moving from the street or a shelter by providing Welcome Home Kids of needed supplies to help them establish their homes.

This special event is also to help raise money for the building of the Dream Playground. ​

Music will be by DJ Dadda-Bass. Games will include Rock n’ Roll Bingo, 50/50, Heads and Tails. Charcuterie cups and hot dogs will be available for purchase. ​

• The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Tournament Fundraiser, 10 a.m. Feb. 26.

The entry fee is $80. Register on the Dream Playground Foundation website.

The fundraiser is organized by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, 7 Cedars and The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course to benefit the Dream Playground.

The tribe has donated all green fees, cart fees and range fees back to the Dream Playground. Sponsorship fees will go directly to the playground. There will be a donation area on the links for those who don’t want to golf. Mulligan sales will go to the playground. A MEGA putt prior to the event will award half to the winner and the other half to the playground.

Wilder Auto of Port Angeles and Molina Healthcare of Washington both donated $10,000 for the rebuild, and Molina’s donation was matched by private donors on Christmas Day.

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