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4 Women of the Ojai Valley - 2016
in the Ojai Valley Girls Softball Association and AYSO.”
She said that other families with children “are really excited about the playground. They can go to dinner downtown, get homemade ice cream for the kids and then go to the park. It’s all right there.” Currier reported that the old equipment is finding a new home at the Mon- tessori school on Baldwin Road.
About her work Currier said, “I love helping people find their new home, find their dream home really. It’s an amazing feeling to be pa- tient and be able to find that home and make it a reality. It is fulfilling to me when they actually can close.”
Shook says she and her husband Allen “came from upstate New York in 1980 looking for a small town to raise a family. We’ve been here ever since. My son is 36 and I have a grand- son. We’re small town people. Even my grand- son, only three, was helping me on the last Sun- day of the playground build. We had wagons; they were our vehicle for moving things, so he was in the wagon and we would get the water and the lemonade to pass out to workers.”
In addition to her collaborators and all the other helpers, Shook credits the two represen- tatives of Play by Design, makers of the equip- ment chosen, for being able to direct the volun- teers, both skilled and unskilled, to the needed tasks. Play by Design, out of Ithaca, New York,
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provided consulting prior to the build also. Shook remembers “a lot of meetings, a lot of hours, a lot of fundraising” in the months lead- ing up to the build in which Lions, Optimists and Rotary members all took part. Now she can say with a beaming smile, “It’s just transformed
the whole city. It’s the jewel of the city.”
All three women mentioned Ray, an 87 year old man who came from Ventura to help on the first day, and while not sure he would return, every day he was back and helping. He remind- ed Shook of her father who was friendly and
could be counted on to lend his hands.
These three women emphasized that while people think of real estate agents as focused on making sales, they also do a lot to give back to the community. They have keen eyes on what a city or town may need and an interest in pro-
tecting or promoting what is great about it. Shook, Currier and Kaye remarked on the increased number of people using the play- ground, with its special section for the very young, benches that invite participation and conversation, a look that resembles a tree fort, and some equipment that resembles nothing you have seen before. Every day and even after dark families are showing up with their chil- dren to this irresistible place. Hard work was required; many decades of hard play are sure to
Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar
A piece of playground equipment is lowered into place during the recent Libbey Park build event.

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