New West school PAC in final round for playground bucks

The John Robson parent advisory council has made it to the final round of a contest they hope will get them the $20,000 top prize to help pay for a new playground at Qayqayt elementary.

The PAC’s vision for the playground had the most votes online when the qualification round of the CST Inspired Minds competition closed Monday.

“I’m feeling very positive at this point,” said organizer Ronda Field.

The complete playground for the new school—which will open in September, replacing John Robson—will cost $130,000. The PAC is still about $60,000 short.

They entered the contest saying any money they won would fund the playground’s climbing wall.

They’ve been persistent in sending out daily reminders through Twitter and Facebook and the like to get supporters to vote for the project at least once a day. It’s worked.

Field said at last look the PAC had collected nearly 2,800 votes, about 400 more than anyone else. Now the top 25 start all over again with voting to run June 9 to 16.

“We’ve been very pleased with the support we got the last time around, it’s been fabulous,” said Field.

The PAC entered a similar Aviva Community Fund contest last year. It didn’t win the $100,000 top prize but did get $5,000. Final voting in that one was done by judges. But the Inspiring Minds final round will be determined by online voting. She emphasized voters for their project must provide valid email addresses because it’s apparent CST is monitoring all of them.

“It’s really going to matter that everybody’s voting clean,” said Field. “I did notice that some of the other ideas that were ahead of us earlier in the game did lose some of their votes. So that would suggest they’re auditing.”

In addition to the $20,000 jackpot three projects will get $10,000 and five will receive $5,000.

“I don’t want to get my hopes up, and I don’t want to be devastated in the finals. So everybody’s got to stay on board. In the last few days some of the ideas that didn’t start out with a lot of votes were gaining quite quickly,” said Field.

The final round of voting kicks off June 9 at 9 a.m. She stressed votes have to be in before 9 p.m. PDT otherwise they’re considered to be counted for the next day because it’s after midnight EDT.

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