Mom takes on huge effort to get new playground built in her town!

April 3, 2018

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Sometimes it takes a village. And sometimes, it just takes one determined mom.



Melissa Atzrott is on a mission – and it’s already a huge success. She’s been raising funds for a community park; a project she’s been working on for years. Now, one phase is complete. One to go. “I started this project 5 years ago when my oldest son was 2 years old,” Melissa told me in an email interview, “We live directly behind Evans Town Park and frequently go there to play. The only playground that was there was a small toddler playground. I could see that as my son was getting older, he was getting bored of this small outdated playground. I wondered if the town had money to add more playground equipment for older children.  I went to the town and asked this question. I was told that the town had no money for this.”


Soon, it became clear that the town would not be able to help at all, “As time unfolded, the Town of Evens has gone through bankruptcy. Our town is hurting financially. I was told that I could start a committee and fund raise. The town has been supportive of our committee.”

So, fund raise she did! Melissa put together a committee, planned some fundraisers, designed incentives for those giving, and viola, “We successfully raised and built Phase 1 of the playground two years ago. Phase 1 costed $50,000.”

Yep. $50-thousand dollars. And they’re not done yet, “We are now fundraising for the final phase. Phase 2 also costs $50,000. We currently have $35,000 in the bank. We need $15,000 to reach our goal.”


Melissa says the community of Evans has been outstanding, “Many community members come to our fundraisers year after year, donate money and Chinese auction items, kind words.”

And Melissa says, it’s become a family affair, “I have two sons. My oldest is 6 and my youngest is 2. My six-year-old is ready for the playground to be built. Hi is excited for the new slides, climbing net, and swings. He gives me change that he comes across and tells me it’s for the playground. He melts my heart. He and every other child in our community deserve a place to be a kid. they deserve a place to play, exercise, build social skills and explore.”

So that’s why Melissa is working so hard on this. She is doing it for her children and all of the children in town who need a place to play and just be kids.

What an amazing mom and citizen!!!

You can donate to the Evans Playground Committee

Melissa Atzrott, 9130 Iroquois Street, Angola, NY 14006.

Also families and businesses that donate $1,000 can have their name on a permanent sign at the playground. There are two fundraisers coming up this summer, we’ll let you know about them.



About Me



Welcome to Totally Buffalo! A local lifestyle website.

My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! I’m a wife, a mom, a grandma, a Buffalo booster, an entrepreneur and a small business owner. I’m so glad you stopped by.  After 20 years in the buffalo media, I went out on my own to tell stories about the people, places, events and all-around fabulousness of this wonderful place we call home. Buffalo is different and so is this site. We are here to share stories, encourage kindness, and help make this a better place to live.

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