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Saturday
Jan072017

Obama Daughters' White House Swing Set Donated to Local Organization

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) --  A swing set brought to the White House in 2009 as a surprise for first daughters Malia and Sasha Obama has been removed as the Obama administration nears an end.

The swing set, erected on the South Lawn, was “donated to a local organization serving those in need,” White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said Thursday.

 The White House did not name the organization to which the swing set was donated. Schultz said more information on the donation would be available “in the coming days.”

Malia Obama was 10 and Sasha Obama was 7 when they came home from school on March 4, 2009, to find the surprise gift from their parents erected just a short distance from the Oval Office. The family had lived in the White House for just a few months at the time, following Barack Obama's November 2008 election victory.

"It was a big hit," White House usher Steve Rochon said told ABC News at the time. "The kids screamed. They came down with Dad and Mom."

The playground equipment, paid for by the Obamas, included three swings, a slide, a green canvas-covered loft, a tire swing, a small climbing wall and a ship's wheel.

The Obamas also had a small picnic table installed to the side of the swing set, with small plates engraved with the names of all 44 presidents.

The picnic table became a news item the month after it was installed when President Obama was spotted sitting deep in conversation at the table with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Obamas will leave the White House on Jan. 20, the day of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration. Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, have a 10-year-old son, Barron. Trump also has eight grandchildren.

Malia Obama, now 18, is a high school graduate currently taking a gap year before attending Harvard University this fall. Sasha, 15, will remain in Washington, D.C., with her parents to complete high school.

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