PenFed Foundation donates $50,000 to Bellevue West High School students’ project to build playground for Peter Sarpy Elementary students

The donation will support the purchasing of playground equipment from Crouch Recreation for the elementary school serving active military families at Offutt Air Force Base

TYSONS, VA (November 16, 2018) — PenFed Foundation today announced a $50,000 donation to Bellevue West High School students’ project to build a new playground for Peter Sarpy Elementary School. The school serves active military families at Offutt Air Force Base.

Four student visionaries from the high school started the community service project and began planning and fundraising to build the playground three years ago as their Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) community service project.

“At PenFed, we believe that giving back is an important part of doing business and we are proud to support future business leaders who are committed to making their community a better place for everyone,” said Jamie Gayton, PenFed Credit Union, Executive Vice President of Member Operations. “This is a unique project and truly a community effort that brings together organizations deeply committed to serving the military community.”

The Bellevue West seniors conceived the project in response to the dated playground equipment at the elementary school and wanted to give the students a better place to play. The high school students approached the local PenFed Nebraska Community Coordinator earlier this year to pitch their idea and request funding. The PenFed Foundation was highly impressed by the students’ ideas and awarded them $50,000 to purchase the playground equipment.

The PenFed Nebraska team helped to connect the students with Nebraska’s Heisman winning Eric Crouch to supply the equipment through his company, Crouch Recreation. The 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base is also providing an in-kind labor donation through 40 volunteers that will work to construct the playground. Additional donations brought in through fundraisers conducted by the Bellevue West students covered the cost of landscaping.

“We are grateful for PenFed Foundation’s support in helping to build a better playground for Peter Sarpy students,” said Jeremy Weber, Peter Sarpy Elementary School, Principal. “We are proud of our high school students as they have done an amazing job and worked incredibly hard over the past three years to see Project Playground through to fruition.”

The $50,000 check was presented to the high school students and Principal Weber by Gayton and members of the PenFed Nebraska team on behalf of the PenFed Foundation during a meet-and-greet event at the elementary school’s library. The PenFed Foundation has provided over $30 million in financial support to the military community since its founding in 2001.

The Bellevue West students will realize their vision this spring when the playground opens to Peter Sarpy Elementary School students during a dedication event.

PenFed’s Executive Vice President of Member Operations, Jamie Gayton, presents a $50,000 donation on behalf of the PenFed Foundation to Bellevue West High School Future Business Leaders of America to support Project Playground. From Left: PenFed Executive Vice President of Member Operations Jamie Gayton, FBLA membership and Peter Sarpy Elementary student body, and PenFed Senior Vice President of Regional Service Centers in Omaha, Jim Kingsley.

About PenFed Foundation

Founded in 2001, the PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to empowering military service members, veterans and their communities with the skills and resources to realize financial stability and opportunity. It provides service members, veterans, their families and support networks with the skills and resources they need to improve their lives through programs on financial education, homeownership, veteran entrepreneurship and short-term assistance. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the Foundation has the resources to effectively reach military communities across the nation, build strong partnerships, and engage a dedicated corps of volunteers in its mission. The credit union funds the Foundation’s personnel and most operational costs, demonstrating its strong commitment to the programs the Foundation provides. Equal Housing Opportunity. To learn more, visit


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