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Youngwood group to hold 'Run for the Playground'

| Thursday, March 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

The children of Youngwood are making do without a playground — but not for long.

The Youngwood Business Association is hosting a “Run for the Playground” 5K run/walk on May 19.

Registration will begin at 7:45 a.m. at the Youngwood Fire Department parking lot. The course will take the Five Star Trail and end at Westmoreland County Community College.

The 5K will raise funds for a new playground and green space to be erected at the site of the former Youngwood High School between Sixth and Seventh streets.

The borough is building a new municipal center on the site of the old playground. A new playground with swings, a jungle gym, merry-go-round, seesaw, a basketball court and more will be featured.

“We want it to be friendly for everyone,” said Councilman Kris Long, a lifelong Youngwood resident. “There will be a lot more grassy green areas.”

Long said $50,000 has been allocated for the playground but events such as the 5K are great ways to raise additional funds. He credits groups such as the Youngwood Business Association, which are doing their part for the betterment of the borough.

Michel Pawlosky-Maiers, president of the Youngwood Business Association, said the local fire department, local churches and the borough have all come together for a really good cause.

“The sense of community is so strong I thought this was a great way to come together and raise money,” said Pawlosky-Maiers, the owner of Youngwood Eye Care.

Pawlosky-Maiers, who had a stack of more than 200 fliers in her office for the upcoming event, said she is encouraged that only 13 are left.

She hopes to see 500 people come out on the day of the event.

John Storey Jr., the captain at the Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department, said he believes the association's involvement in the community, past and present, has been advantageous.

“Everything the association has been doing to facilitate this is wonderful,” he said.

Storey declined to speculate on the number of people the 5K might draw.

“I've never been a part of an event like this,” Storey said. “. . . But as long as people come out to support a worthwhile cause I think it's a success regardless.”

Michele Stewardson is a freelance writer.

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