On August 24, 2013, we were able to dedicate the playground at Mechanicsville Elementary in honor of Nate. We’ve struggled with the words to express what this day meant and the words just don’t meet paper. We are so thankful for what a community can do when we all come together for a common goal. We are so grateful and honored to part of a community that rallied to support us in our darkest moment and with so much more than just a playground.
This is the playground that Nate built. This is a playground that you built. A playground that a community came together and built. A playground that we are honored to be a part of. We watched as the kids went running by to play on the playground and we thought to ourselves – we ALL did it. We did it. We did it for Nate. We did it for the community. We did it for these children. We say WE but we know that this is more about all of YOU than it is us! WE didn’t build anything – YOU built this playground. This playground is the collective efforts, generosity, and love of so many people. So much so that we could never begin to thank each and every person for your contribution.
As you look through these pictures we think you will see the mix of emotions that the day brought. Tears, sadness, grief, joy, peace, love, pride, smiles, and laughter – we felt them all. We felt the pride of being part of something so great. We felt the pride of being part of this great community. We felt the presence of Nathan and his approval of this amazing playground.
The playgrounds are beautiful. The blue playground is the upper grades playground that was dedicated to Nate. The green playground is the Kindergarten playground that was finished this year by the Dannon Rally For Recess win that so many of you helped to work so hard on!
We have to say thanks to Erin Upton of Thirty-Three Loves Photography for taking some gorgeous pictures of the day for us! We also have to thank our family and friends that have supported us, loved us, and been there for the past year with us through it all. We have to thank MES, the PTA and this amazing community for everything you did to make this playground a success!
This foundation grew out of the love that many have for Nathan. We did not build it alone.
We are excited to be partnering with Sandymount Elementary to begin the fundraising for their new playground. The first of our fundraisers is approaching quickly. The 2nd Annual Chris Baker Fun Day is September 29th, 2013 and we hope to see you there. It’s sure to be fun for the whole family!
Justin and Katie