In 1997 our community gathered to perform a “barn raising” of sorts at a community playground in Doylestown, PA. Businesses, families, artists, carpenters and community members worked together to create a place for the local children to play, explore and dream. The result of many months of planning and weeks of hard work were unveiled on June 22, 1997. I am proud to say that my family was part of that original “barn raising” of our local castle. My husband brought his hands, hammer and woodworking talents, while I wheeled a paint brush. I had fun creating store fronts and funny little elements to go along with the castle.

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Original construction of Kids Castle circa 1997

It was a happy day as Dawn Byers, the spearhead of the cause, officially opened the playground. Our four children, then 1, 3, 6 and 9 have spent many hours exploring the giant playground and we have lots of happy memories to prove it.

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Opening day June 22, 1997

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My husband Keith and our 4 kids, opening day of Kids Castle

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My now 22 and 24 year old sons hamming it up at Kids Castle

Fifteen years later the castle has been loved immensely by  children of all ages and was in need of repairs and sprucing up. Dawn Byers whose children like mine were no longer toddling around the the playground and were instead heading off to college, stepped back in to once again take up the mantle of leader to get the job done. I admire the woman and leader Dawn is, she is always involved with ways to make our community better. Knowing that the repairs were coming I contacted Dawn to let her know I would once again be happy to help paint and repair anything I could help with. The art committee then asked me to take on the project of creating and painting two knights to guard and grace the refurbished castle. I said I would, knowing that I would also be finishing up my semester projects at Moore College of Art and would eventually see the light of day, to paint my knights. Bad pun I know, but couldn’t resist.

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Kid’s Castle Doylestown PA

I love the quote on the home page of the Save Kids Castle website, “If everyone does a little, we can accomplish a lot”. That sums up just about anything in life, especially where community and making a difference is involved. So I did my “little” and worked on the two new men in my life, squeezing in time in the barn to bring the knights alive. I am proud to say that this past weekend my husband and I delivered Mr. Blue and Mr. Red to the art committee to await their anti-graffiti coats and a date to begin guarding the new and improved Kids Castle. There are still improvements in stages to come and money to raise to insure Kids Castle remains safe and standing for the generations to come. I have agreed to continue to help paint for the art committee and have no idea what the next canvas to bring to life will be, but I am ready and excited for the challenge.

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The boys awaiting their trip to the Castle

If you would like to donate time or money to the cause or just wish to find out more information please go to their website at http://www.savekidscastle.org/ I hope to see you at the “Castle” this summer.

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