Children’s Center raises funds by selling bricks

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Story by Emily Albrent

Brick by brick, the UW-Eau Claire Children’s Center will build a new playground with funds that will be raised through an upcoming event.

The Brick by Brick fundraiser will be a chance for the public to support the new Children’s Center and to have a memento that will connect them with the university for years to come, Children’s Center Director Rebecca Wurzer said.

“We needed a fundraiser and we thought that this would be a good lasting, permanent (option),” Wurzer said.

According to the fundraiser’s website, these bricks can be purchased in two sizes at two different costs. The smaller of the two, the size of a standard brick, will cost $100 and a larger brick will cost $500.

The bricks, which can be embossed with names or anything of the buyer’s choosing, will be placed near the front door and the courtyard area of the new center, said Kimera Way, the executive director of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

“It is really well suited to the current location … it (will) be a really neat link to what the Children’s Center will be doing,”    Way said.

The bricks will not only function as a way of fundraising, but according to Wurzer, they can mean  much more to the person who has purchased the brick.

“It is kind of exciting to have your brick from the first year that we opened,” Wurzer said. It is just kind of a memory thing. I wish years ago that they would have done it to some of these other (university) buildings.”

The Children’s Center wants to use the funds raised to build an outdoor play area for their new center, Wurzer said.

“We’re doing an emphasis on nature-based curriculum, so we’re not going to have our plastic playground, it is all going to be nature based, so a lot of things have to be made,” Wurzer said.

Wurzer said she feels as if the community response to the fundraiser is “fair.” She said she acknowledges that because of the confusion over where the new center would be built, the fundraiser lost momentum. However, now that they know where they will be moving, Wurzer said that they are slowly starting to bring the fundraiser idea back.

“I think now that when people have some facts, it may start up again, it may get more interest,” Way said. “And it might be when people see the bricks as the priory is used … they might want to have that as a remembrance.”

Sophomore Paige Jaworski said she really likes the idea of this kind of fundraiser.

“I think that it is a good idea … I know that they do try different fundraisers every year but I think that this is a more original idea than the usual bake sales,” Jaworski said.

She also said that she thought the public would invest in this type of fundraiser.

“I know that $100 is a lot for a brick, but I know that a lot of the families like the Children’s Center,”Jaworski said.

According to Way, the blocks will be placed sometime this summer, and she hopes that people enjoy what the fundraiser will bring to the new center.

“We would love to have everybody come out and see what a spectacular place it will be for our kids and for the students who are working there.”