As part of the “13 Days to Graduation” service project in honor of the Classes of 2013, HWS seniors recently took the opportunity to make one more lasting impact on the City that has been their home for four years.
Led by Raphael Durand ’13, Hobart senior class president and senior civic leader, and Brianne Ellis’13, William Smith senior class president, the group completed construction of the Geneva Community Lakefront Playground. The project has been an integral part of the senior classes’ past two years, inspired by the 2011-2012 Convocation address of KaBOOM! founder and CEO Darell Hammond that kicked off their junior year.
“When we arrived in Geneva four years ago, one of our first class activities was a community service project on Saturday morning. Now, four years later, we wanted to celebrate our last days together as a class by helping Geneva once more,” says Durand.
After numerous brainstorming sessions, fundraising efforts and a community-wide build this fall that saw more than 250 members of the Geneva and HWS communities work together to build the playground, Monday’s work was the official completion of the construction.
“Actually leaving our mark in Geneva and having something that will always tie us back and stay connected was the perfect capstone for my college career,” says Ellis. “I was able to help lay the finishing bricks that lead into the playground and while reading each message made me a little sentimental, it was so exciting to step back and watch as families and children were crowding around and enjoying our efforts and the beauty of Seneca Lake.”
The playground is a part of a collaborative project between Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva Community Projects and the City of Geneva through the KaBOOM! a national organization dedicated to saving play for America’s children by building playgrounds across the country. Since its inception in 1995, the organization has built thousands of playgrounds throughout the U.S.
“This project officially completes the playground, so we are excited to be able to leave our mark,” says Durand. “As we exit Geneva, I could not think of a better way to impact the future than to help finish the Lakefront Playground,” adds Durand.