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Ducks Power PLAY! Project Transforms Raymond Temple Elementary School

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

BUENA PARK, Calif. -- On a warm late-summer day at Raymond Temple Elementary School, a large group clad in orange t-shirts patiently awaited instruction for their assignments. Some were tasked with painting murals around the campus. Others were in charge of planting herbs and trees, and a butterfly garden, while another group made their way to a newly-installed street hockey rink to paint the red line.

It was all in an afternoon's work for team staff and executives, Ducks fans, Orange Alliance Members, premium seat holders and more. Ducks forward Devin Shore stopped by to lend a hand, putting his painting skills to work on a mural and helping install nets on the street hockey rink. Named the Anaheim Ducks Power PLAY! project, the large-scale elementary school "makeover" will be unveiled to Raymond Temple's students in a special assembly on Monday, Sept. 16.

The relationship between the Ducks and Raymond Temple Elementary School runs deep. The school is an invested participant in the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation & Education) Program, and has been a part of the street hockey program and Reading is the Goal for more than 10 years.

"I think it's amazing we're able to bring together our fans, our staff, players and corporate partners together with the common goal to do something great for these students that have been part of the S.C.O.R.E. program," said Wendy Arciero, Director of Community Relations for the Ducks. "We're out here for one afternoon having a good time together while also doing something great for these students."

In addition to the permanent street hockey rink that will reside on Raymond Temple's playground, the school was upgraded with new campus murals. Operation Clean Slate created the murals, which feature the school's colors with a focus on the school's mascot while also incorporating Ducks colors and logos. Meanwhile, Enrich L.A. planted herbs and a butterfly garden with California Natives and flowers with an outdoor teaching station adorned with picnic tables.

The campus rejuvenation project means the world to Raymond Temple Elementary principal Dr. Estela Salas. Now in her fourth year serving as the principal of the school, Dr. Salas knows the impact this will have on the kids for years to come. "The first thing that comes to mind is the idea of dreams coming true," she said, with a paint brush in hand. "This is beyond anything any of us have ever dreamed of. Working with the Ducks organization has really put us on a whole different level of what's possible at a school site. What this means for me is like landing on the moon when we were just aiming for the stars. It's been a great experience."

Dr. Salas says the idea of having a butterfly garden came from one of the school's students. "When the Ducks asked what we were looking into, I thought I could make someone's dream come true," she said. "The idea that it all started with a vision from our student and the Ducks picking it up and making it true, it's an unbelievable feeling. Even though we're seeing it, it's still so hard to believe it's really happening."

It all starts at the top with Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli, who believe in the power of community. "That's really what this is all about," said Arciero. "We want to do stuff for the kids. Henry and Susan are all about philanthropy and making the community a better place for all of us. For us to come together and see the kids enjoy it in a few days is going to be awesome."

Before she resumed painting, Dr. Salas took a moment to exhale. "Our kiddos have been peaking around and taking a look. They feel the same way we do. We put our hands to our chest and take a deep breath because it's something unbelievable. These kids are going to realize the power of community partnership."

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