A total of 13 Buddy Benches made from recycled plastic are on the playgrounds and campuses of all the Pattonville schools. The Bridgeton Kiwanis Club began collecting plastic bottle caps and lids to convert into Buddy Benches which is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendships on the playground. Each elementary school received one or two benches and the Pattonville Early Childhood Center, middle schools and Pattonville High School each received one bench.
“We picked up the first two benches last December,” Mary Kay Campbell said. “They were placed at Remington on the playground near the field and at the Early Childhood Center.”
The other 11 were recently placed at the schools including two benches at Willow Brook Elementary located near the running track and one at the high school outside of the stadium.
It takes 250 pounds (or about five full 55-gallon trash bags) and $300 to create an 8-foot bench. After collecting 2,750 pounds of plastic lids and caps, six members of the Bridgeton Kiwanis Club loaded a rented truck and transported the caps to Green Tree Plastics in Evansville, Indiana.
This project started with the Builder's Club students at Remington Traditional and spread throughout the community. Caps, lids and money donations were collected at the City of Bridgeton Parks and Recreation, World Wide Technology, Inc., Hussmann Corporation, Busch Stadium, SSM Health DePaul Hospital - St. Louis and at all of the Pattonville schools.
Additional monetary donations to help purchase the benches were made by Pattonville Education Foundation to honor past superintendent Dr. Mike Fulton and State Sen. Jill Schupp to honor her father.
Campbell said, “All benches will get an engraved plaque later this year.”