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Grace Humphrey, 1, Bloomsburg, plays on the playground at Sunnybrook Park on a recent sunny afternoon.

VALLEY -- Sunnybrook Park is seeking financial help to pay for pool filter replacements.

The Danville Playground Association, which manages the park, has been discussing fundraisers.

Members hope the Valley Township supervisors will contribute. The park association plans to ask area legislators to find money to assist with the project.

"The park is not destitute, but if we spend all our money for filters we will have nothing to fall back on," association vice president Darla Gill said.

The pool filters were installed in 1972 when the pool was replaced at the park, which is observing its 81th birthday this year.

Judy Achy, a Valley Township supervisor, calls the park "the area's best kept secret." She recalled swimming there for many summers as a child.

Mrs. Gill said, "Every year we have been holding our breath saying we hope the filters last another year and they are now to the point if we don't do something, they'll probably fail in the least convenient moment during our open season. We thought we'd get a jump on it and try to get some money to replace them."

The association got one estimate so far of $20,000 where the firm recommended six smaller units to replace the two large filters. That company said the smaller units would be more cost-efficient and do a better job, she said.

The association asked the supervisors for financial help last week. The park also receives United Way funds.

The township has a 25-year lease to the park because the state required that when a playground was installed in 2000 for $40,000.

"We always have kids playing in the playground on nice days," she said. "I'm most proud we achieved that," Mrs. Gill said.

Sunnybrook had one of the first community pools in the region.

"I'm very proud of that park and I'd like to see it continue for my grandchildren," said Mrs. Gill who has been a Sunnybrook volunteer since the 1990s and has served as association secretary.

In addition to the pool and playground, the park along Route 642 in Valley Township has a volleyball court, trails, a creek for fishing and a field that adults have been using for soccer. A National Night Out, to acquaint people with police and emergency services that also offered free swimming, held at the park this past summer attracted nearly 500 people.

While the park has cabins that are in disrepair, there are a number of people who have been interested in refurbishing them, she said.

The pool was painted this past summer. The park furnished the labor while the township bought the paint.

"We have other plans we'd like to move ahead with," she said.

There are four pavilions available for rent at $30 during the week and $60 on Saturdays and Sunday. "We provide the electric, water and bathrooms and are handicapped-accessible," she said. Reservations may be made by calling 275-6218.

Mrs. Gill said contributions are being accepted for the filter project. "This is a fantastic opportunity for people to donate for the kids. We provide a clean, safe atmosphere for kids to enjoy recreation," she said.

Donations may be sent to the park association at P.O. Box 124, Danville, PA.

The park has been a nonprofit organization since the 1940s.

P E-mail comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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