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While going through a divorce a colleague encouraged me to join PADA's summer learning league, Uhle at Edgely Ultimate fields. I knew what ultimate was, had even picked up for my high school team a decade prior, but I had no idea what kind of a community it fostered. PADA and Egdely provided me a safe space to be as I rebuilt my life and gave me friends when I really needed them. I was so grateful that I eventually began volunteering for the organization. First as a captain, and then as coordinator for some of the middle school leagues the organization subsidizes through the adult leagues. Eventually I even ran for the board hoping to use my professional skills to help the organization develop a long term plan. A few years ago I moved out of state for work and no longer play in the PADA leagues but I believe so much in what PADA stands for and their long term goals to serve the local youth and community that I have maintained my board position. Fairmount park is home to many special places like this and with the dissolution of the Fairmount Park Commission these assets have been under attack by the city and their Rebuild Program. Already loved and maintained spaces are being repurposed in manners that limit who has access. Instead of focusing efforts and funding on areas in the park system that have been neglected and need support, the city has been taking the easy way and utilizing sites where the groundwork has already been done by countless volunteers and patrons of Fairmount Park. I support Friends of Fairmount Park and their mission to hold the city accountable for misusing funds and disregarding their own mission stated in the Rebuild Program.
- Elizabeth Colletti
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