At the annual Pre-K to 8 Ice Cream Social and Open House, Thatcher Hall and Pre-K to 8 Tiger PRIDE hosted ribbon cuttings for the new playground at the Cottages and the updates to the Thatcher Hall library, funded by Purple Tie's Raise the Paw in 2022.
The 2022 Purple Tie Tiger Tailgate Raise the Paw generated $300,000 to fund special projects in the Pre-K to 8 division. A committee of parents and donors determined the best use of funds, identifying areas of need within the library and the Pre-K to 2 playground.
"It was such an honor to be a part of this process," said Chief Advancement Officer Julie Lucas ('97). "From working with volunteers and donors at last year's Purple Tie to partnering with the Thatcher Committee on how best to serve the needs of our students, it was a great year. The love and generosity in this community amazes me every day."
The new playground at the Cottages was installed just before the new school year, while Thatcher Hall's Yancey Library was updated over the summer. Improvements to the space include more flexible seating options, fresh carpet, an updated circulation desk that is now located in the center of the room, and more.
"I want to thank Tiger Pride for always supporting our students, faculty, staff, and administration," said Hope Jones, director of Pre-K to 8. "Raise the Paw is just another clear example of what it means to be 100% Darlington. The generous donations for the Pre-K to 8 division embody the true essence of being student-centered. The new library space, flexible seating areas in Thatcher Hall, and the Cottage playground highlight the importance of community. These new spaces promote and encourage collaboration while empowering our students. Thank you, Tiger PRIDE, from the bottom of my heart."
Faculty members, students and their families enjoyed touring the new spaces during the Open House.
"The people of this community care so much, not only for their own children, but for their friends, their teachers, the staff and everything that Darlington stands for," said Nancy Hortman, 2022-2023 Pre-K to 8 Tiger PRIDE president. "As last year's Tiger PRIDE president, I was humbled to witness the giving hearts and love poured back into this school that enabled us to complete these beautiful projects. My family and I will forever call Darlington one of the best places on Earth!"