Annie Biedermann has grown up with Kids Castle and wants other young children to be able to do so as well.
When the 12-year-old's dad told her that the iconic playground in Doylestown's Central Park was deteriorating and in need of repair, she didn't hesitate.
"When my dad asked if I wanted to help save it, I immediately said yes. It has been a major part of my life and it’s very important to me," Biedermann told Doylestown Township supervisors Tuesday night.
Annie, a 7th grader at Lenape Middle School, is now on the Save Kids Castle middle-school committee. She is one of more than 80 people who have stepped forward to serve on committees to organize efforts to save the 7-story play castle.
The effort still needs more leaders, though, said Dawn Byers. She helped lead the original effort to build the castle in 1996 and got the ball rolling for today's Save Kids Castle movement.
One of the key committee positions that has been filled is that of fundraising chair. Annie's dad, Jon Biedermann, will head up that effort. Biedermann is vice president of DonorPerfect, a Horsham-based company that specializes in fundraising software.
He forsees an online social media donation campaign that will raise an average of $50 to $80 from each donor.
"I know with the strategy that Dawn has put out that we’re going to be able to raise enough money to save Kids Castle not just in the near term, but in the long term," Biedermann told the supervisors Tuesday night.
Kids Castle rose in a massive community effort that gathered $200,000 in donations and brought out more than 3,000 to build it. It opened on Sunday, June 22, 1997.
The 15 years of wear and tear on the wooden structure have left their mark, despite regular maintenance.
An annual safety audit done in May turned up 38 needed repairs, Byers said, 23 of which required immediate attention and were addressed by the staff of Doylestown Township, which has maintained and cared for the structure over the years.
Officials have said that the castle itself is safe to play on. The repairs, restorations and replacements the committee is looking at are designed to keep Kids Castle safe and fun for years to come.
Organizers are looking for someone to lead the children's committee, which will organize efforts at Central Bucks elementary schools, and for someone to lead the clean-up committee, Byers said. Anyone interested is asked to email email@example.com.