Dear Editor:

I wanted to congratulate Wayne Weidner who is the President of the Walnutport Playground Association for standing up to the borough council in regards to a proposed fee of $500 to be charged to use the grounds for its annual carnival.

Any deposit charged is a travesty to an organization that has done so much for the children and citizens of Walnutport, Pennsylvania. My wife and I were former board members and I might add lived in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. We volunteered many hours and held positions on the association board and can tell you many struggles that the organization faced through the years to not only provide recreation and a safe haven for children and residents but also to try to be fiscally responsible in the process.

What the borough council as a whole forgets is how much money the limited numbers of Playground volunteers spent on repairs to dilapidated and uncompliant facilities. They forget the annual Easter Egg hunt, paid for by the organization and with help from the local fire company. Or perhaps the countless hours of planning the carnival, asking for help and volunteers, struggling to get the volunteers to show (many who either lived outside of the area or had children who long ago participated in sporting programs but still volunteered when they could have walked away).

I am no longer able to volunteer since I work outside of the area, but keeping up with some news, see that people from "outside" the borough are no longer allowed to participate with the playground association? How much revenue is the borough going to appropriate per child to offset the rising costs of participation in sporting programs?

Why must the Playground Association pay for a generous portion of repairs and maintenance? How many people on borough council volunteer or support the carnival more than one evening to help them to maintain the programs available? Why hasnt the grant money been fully used so that more funds could be obtained? Who oversees this and why was the ball dropped? There were so many items needed, I can't understand how the funds couldn't be spent in a timely fashion. I want to wish all of the volunteers and board members well you do a wonderful job and run a very professional organization. Nice work Wayne for "calling it as you see it" but I still argue no deposit should be needed.

Respectfully,

Jeff Lentz

Lehighton