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Batavia football players help install playground equipment

BATAVIA – Batavia High School student Patrick Gamble has fond memories of his days at H.C. Storm Elementary School.

So Gamble, a sophomore on the high school’s sophomore football team, didn’t mind returning Friday to H.C. Storm School to help install playground equipment.

“I want to do anything to give back to the community,” Gamble said. “They come out and support us. I think we should give something back.”

To save on installation costs, members of the Batavia High School football team, H.C. Storm School parents, alumni, employees from Kohl’s and others volunteer their time Friday and today to install playground equipment at the school.

Ben Link, captain of Batavia High School’s varsity football team, also was glad to help.

“We wanted to come out and help the community,” Link said.

Eleven Batavia football players turned out Friday, more than Ellen Knautz, chairman of the school’s PTO playground committee, expected.

“It’s exciting to do things like this with ages,” Knautz said.

The school, which is at 305 N. Van Nortwick Ave., is getting more than $17,000 worth of equipment in the school’s front playground. The school’s playground equipment was more than 20 years old.

The district gave the school $7,000 toward the purchase. The school’s PTO contributed $10,000 that it raised.

“We knew we had old equipment,” Knautz said. “Through a yearlong effort, our H.C. Storm community was able to determine what needed to be purchased for each playground in order to replace those structures.”

Knautz said they have enough volunteers to install the equipment.

But she said volunteers also are needed in August to install more playground equipment in the back playground at H.C. Elementary School.

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