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Fitness Playground Dedicated in Tarrytown

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – It was hard to miss the bevy of children enjoying the fitness playground at Washington Irving Intermediate School while David Neilsen, president of the Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, spoke about its history during a dedication ceremony.

“The kids, if you haven't noticed, love it,” Neilsen said. “The kids are on this all the time, and I think that's the true testament of what we were able to accomplish as a community.”

A group of about 50 parents, school officials and family members gathered at the playground  Friday for its official dedication and renaming to Chebetar Park. The playground has been named in honor of Michele Boylan-Chebetar, a Tarrytown resident and volunteer in the school district who died in 2011.

Neilsen said the playground, which was built by EPTA members and with community donations, was an example of the community's excellence.

“Putting this all together really was an amazing experience, and when I think about someone who was like the best of our community, I think about someone we lost a year ago: Michele Chebetar,” Neilsen said, noting that Chebetar was very active in the playground project before she died.

“She was a big fan and proponent of the space ball, and she'd be thrilled to see it up there,” Neilsen said.

Although the playground has been in use for several months, Neilsen said the EPTA still has some work to do: building a border to keep the mulch around the playground and putting mats under some parts to keep mulch from flying up. There's also a slide that could be attached to the space ball if enough money was raised, Neilsen said.

“I think this is something as a community we should be proud of,” he said.

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