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B.C. Swinney students stand next to a giant “thank you” card they made for Ambrose,Thomas and James Madaj, brothers who donated a total of $8,500 for Swinney’s special needs playground equipment.

Brothers, students at Swinney in the '60s, make generous donation

Old friends have moved B.C. Swinney Elementary School much closer to its goal of having special-needs-friendly playground equipment.

Traci Newell, principal at Swinney, said the school has received a combined donation of $8,500 from Ambrose, Thomas and James Madaj  three brothers who attended Swinney in the mid-1960s.

The school is nearing its goal of $20,000 to purchase the equipment, which will be standalone items for use by special needs students of all types. Leadership Lawton-Fort Sill Class XXIV has made the special needs playground its project and the school has held several fundraisers. Currently, Newell said the school has raised about $17,000 for the equipment after the $8,500 donation, but more money is on the way from Leadership Lawton.

Newell said she was working in her office at the school with the door shut April 30, when she heard her office staff start screaming.

She ran into the outer office to find them waving checks around. They had received three checks from the Madaj brothers. Ambrose lives in Knoxville, Tenn.; Thomas lives in Tulsa; and James lives in Uniontown, Ohio.

The Lawton Constitution

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