Bates student helps two communities win $50,000 playground grants

Catherine Elliott '12

In a striking display of altruism and initiative, a Bates College first-year student collected enough yogurt lids to win a national contest. The prize: $100,000 in grants to help create and improve places for children to play for communities in Maine and Maryland.

On the lid from a yogurt container that she got in the Bates dining hall last fall, Catherine Elliott read about a contest that would provide a grant for a playground upgrade to the organization that collected enough specially marked lids. Working with the Bates community and the Boys & Girls Club of Auburn-Lewiston, what Elliott did was gather enough of the aluminum foil lids — more than 4,500 — to win two $50,000 grants from the “Double Play” program created by organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm and KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to bringing play back to the lives of children.