Toby Christensen climbed a slide that is boarded and blocked off at the top.
"They boarded up that slide to keep the kids off because they say it's unsafe, but my kid plays on it anyway," said his mom Jessica.
The slide is the latest piece of playground equipment at Harry Hooge Elementary that is long overdue for an investment and upgrade. With her son in Grade 1 at the school, Christensen knows he will be spending a lot of recesses out there over the next few years.
It's for this reason that she and Natalie McConkey, another Henry Hooge Grade 1 parent, are hoping to garner support for their cause in an online, Canada-wide voting contest presented by Aviva Insurance.
According to Aviva's website, the campaign aims to support "what matters most to Canadians, helping people... make positive change in their commununity."
In the case of Harry Hooge elementary, that would mean receiving the funds the school needs to build a new playground.
Now in its fifth year, the Canadawide Aviva campaign supports a wide variety of projects in many different categories. The overall winner of each category receives $100,000 from Aviva to make their community project a reality.
The vote-oriented contest is currently in its first round, and according to Christensen, those who get into the top ten spots in their category automatically receive $5,000. From there, finalists advance to rounds two and three, and a chance at the grand prize.
Round One goes until Oct. 14, and Christensen said it's crucial people take a moment in their day to vote.
"Right now we're currently at 715 votes and we're in 26th place," she said. "We're hoping the community will get out there and just vote. It takes 30 seconds."
To vote, people simply register on the Aviva website.
"You register with your email, just so they know who's voting," said Christensen. "There's no spam or anything like that."
Voters can vote every day, once a day, until Oct. 14, when Round One ends. If the project fails to reach the required number of votes, the school can try again in the second and third rounds, although that's not ideal, Christensen said, explaining, "There are three rounds, but we hope to have enough votes in round one to put us in the top ten, and then we don't have to go through the next two rounds and we'll just automatically go through to the finals."
Between her two kids, McConkey and her family will be spending a total of 11 years at Henry Hooge, and she said it made sense to just "jump into" this project.
"I just want my kids and all the other kids, as well as the community to be able to have a safe, new playground," she said. "It doesn't seem like it should be so much to ask for."
For more information on the playground project, the contest, or to vote, visit avivacommunityfund.org.
@ Copyright 2013