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Boys and Girl Club open play structure thanks to family donation (2 photos)

It was an emotional unveiling from Jim Symington who had donated the play structure with his wife who passed away in July.

THUNDER BAY - The Boys and Girls Club have a new play structure thanks to the generous support of a local family.

On Wednesday, it was an emotional day for Jim Symington as the local children’s centre unveiled their new play structure, less than a month after the passing of his wife Shirley.

“I wish my wife was here… She was always a big part of this. She’s probably looking down right now,” Symington said.

Jim and Shirley Symington’s family foundation have been contributing to the Boys and Girls Club for years.

Recently, they were able to provide a dunk tank,  and helped with funding that sent kids to camp, and helped with staffing issues at the centre.

Donating the play structure was their latest.

“We have been the recipient on numerous occasions of things that have bettered our program, and benefited our children city-wide,” executive director Albert Aiello said.

Aiello said the organization had been in need of a play structure for a number of years.

“With the old wooden one… slivers and stuff became an issue, and we’d have to keep replacing wooden boards.”

“Just a fantastic lady,” Aiello said of Shirley, who passed away from cancer in July. “Very genuine and someone who was happy to see smiles on kids faces.”

The Boys & Girls Club accommodates about 150 kids each day.

“It’s great for kids to be able to let loose and run around in a controlled environment,” Symington said. “A lot of these kids could potentially get into trouble if they were on the street.”

“They’ll be a lot of kids on us every day, and it’s just a small way for us to say thank you,” Aiello said. “It fills part of a legacy for her.”

Michael Charlebois

About the Author: Michael Charlebois

Michael Charlebois was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where he attended St. Patrick High School and graduated in 2015. He attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies journalism.
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