Gurganus students celebrate opening of new playground

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Walt Slater, a kindergartener at W.J. Gurganus Elementary School in Havelock, goes down the slide that is part of a new playground that officially opened on Thursday. The school won a contest through U.S. Cellular, which provided $20,000 for the new playground.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 05:30 PM.

Walt Slater put his hands in the air, pointing skyward to a cloudless sky.

Then he slid. The kindergartener took the curve, his hands in the air the entire time. He reached the bottom, the ride lasting but a second or two, but oh what a ride it was.

Students at W.J. Gurganus Elementary School in Havelock celebrated the opening of a new playground on a mild spring day last week the only way they knew how, with squeals of delight for each ride down the slide and each climb across the monkey bars.

“Awesome, I like it. I like it a lot,” Slater said of the new playground.

Money for the new playground came from U.S. Cellular through its Calling All Communities campaign, an online contest held during the fall in which schools receiving the most votes received $25,000 for projects. Gurganus placed 10th in the nationwide contest.

“We are super excited to be a part of this,” Jeremy Taylor, director of sales for U.S. Cellular, told the crowd of students and dignitaries during the Havelock Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We know an effort like this is a true campaign, and it takes a lot of people.”

He said U.S. Cellular has provided $4.5 million to schools across the country.

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