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Penny Challenge Knocks it Out of the Park!

Updated: May 24

Late February found the TimberTown Reimagined Steering Committee brainstorming for ideas…all kinds of ideas: how to fundraise $400,000, how to tell the Chelsea community about our mission to rebuild TimberTown, how to bring in community partners, and how to involve all the wonderful families who would most benefit from the project.

Thanks to North Elementary principal Casey Wescott and parent Nicole Trinkle Coxford (class of 2003), the idea of collecting change came into play — Pennies for the Parks.

As a recap, South Meadows and North Creek Elementary School families searched pockets, purses, piggy banks to find loose change to drop into collection jars in each classroom, ultimately collecting close to $3,000. The frosting on the cake - each graduating class that collected over $200 would receive a fence picket engraved with “CHS Class of 20##” as a part of the permanent fence surrounding the park for generations to come. And lastly, the graduating class that raised the most money would receive a pizza party to celebrate.

Drumroll Please!

  • The class of 2036 (Young 5s) raised $232.95

  • The class of 2035 (Kindergarten) raised $387.48

  • The class of 2034 (1st grade) raised $510.34

  • The class of 2033 (2nd grade) raised $580.56

  • The class of 2032 (3rd grade) raised $524.60

  • The class of 2031 (4th grade) raised $307.61

  • The class of 2030 (5th grade) raised $200.00

Wescott said the TimberTown penny challenge was an incredible success, noting that it was such a fun way for the kids to take part in a grassroots, community-based volunteer effort.

“It was wonderful to see everyone come together to bring awareness and gather loose change to support such a meaningful cause. We truly appreciate the support from our parents; their dedication and involvement in events like this exemplify the strong partnership we have in Chelsea.”

Coxford, whose son attends North Creek, was surprised how excited he was about donating change in the name of revitalizing TimberTown.

“At 6 years old, I wasn’t sure he would understand the concept of fundraising, but he was very invested in it. He chose to donate money from his very own piggy bank and kept asking me if North Creek ‘had won the picket.’ It was a great lesson in fundraising and wholesome as a parent to bear witness to.”

Wescott added that he was very proud of his staff members who supported the effort through their continued commitment to create nurturing connections between staff, students, and the community.

“Our staff members work daily at creating a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered. With such positive role models guiding them, it's no wonder our students stepped up in a big way to support the re-imagination of TimberTown. The success of this challenge is a testament to the strength and unity of our North Creek family.”

Coxford has been a member of the TimberTown project since the early days of planning in February 2023, joining the larger Steering Committee when it formed this past January.

“As a committee member, interacting with other community members and even school staff during the fundraising period, I was delighted to see such enthusiasm and eagerness to revitalize TimberTown. I think it shows us that all members of the community, no matter how young, take pride  in the public spaces and want the best for our city.”

For more information about the legacy picket program, how you can get involved, or how to make a donation, check out  or like our Facebook page.

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