Valrico resident Emily Warrington is raising funds to install a playground area at Balm Baptist Church in Wimauma.

Valrico teen Emily Warrington is looking for some help to bring the community of Wimauma together.

Warrington, a member of a local American Heritage Girls (AHG) Troop, is planning to install a commercial grade playground at Balm Baptist Church as part of her Stars and Stripes award process and is currently fundraising to meet her $15,000 goal for the project.

“I’ve noticed that people have become so disconnected with each other lately and have wanted to do something about it,” said Warrington. “I chose to do this project to really bring the community of Wimauma together.”

According to Warrington, who has been interested in community service for more than five years, the pastor at Balm Baptist Church in Wimauma has been looking for ways to build new friendships while growing the church and helping the community.

“The church currently does not have an outdoor play area for kids and teenagers. So we decided to redo the current basketball court and install a commercial grade playground,” said Warrington. “We felt that this would be a great way to reach Wimauma.”

Warrington estimates the cost of the project, which includes new basketball hoops, mulch, picnic tables, a fence and the playground equipment, at around $30,000. She has set up a Go Fund Me page and is actively fundraising throughout the community to help reach her goal.

“As part of this process and something we are to learn, each candidate is required to raise the funds for their project by themselves, whether through donations or fundraisers,” said Warrington.

The Stars and Stripes award is the highest achievement in the AHG program, comparable to an Eagle Scout, and requires a project with at least 100 hours of planning, fundraising and implementing. It also has to have a long lasting effect on the community. AHG is a program for girls ages 5-18 that focuses on growing skills, talents and integrity through the Christian faith. There are troops in every state and 15 countries around the world.

For more information on Warrington’s project, email her at or visit her Go Fund Me page at

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.