Donations coming in for playground |

Donations coming in for playground

by Sheila Gardner

The Douglas County School District’s effort to collect donations to replace playground equipment at the old Minden grammar school is gaining ground.

Superintendent Lisa Noonan said Monday that John and Patti Larson of NV Mobile RV Service had donated $1,000 toward the goal of raising $10,000.

The equipment was removed in April by the school district following an advisory from the federal government that the swing set and monkey bars were unsafe.

The government didn’t order the equipment removed, but Noonan said the risk was too great for the district to leave the items intact.

She said the district was to spend $600,000 to replace all the elementary schools’ playground equipment, but was seeking donations for the administrative office.

She approached the Minden Town Board at its May 1 meeting, but was turned down.

“Several phone calls have come in from folks who would like to help out with the fundraising efforts,” Noonan said.

“One of the reasons Patti and I donated is to be able to maintain the history of this place (the playground),” John Larson said Tuesday. “You see more people using that little playground, some of the people on the (Minden) town board remember when they were kids.”

Larson said he hoped his family’s $1,000 pledge would inspire other businesses to match his donation.

“We’re just a small business, a one-man operation. What I would like is to get the other businesses — we’ve got all kinds of different manufacturers here — to give to the cause,” he said.

Larson is the state chairman of Ducks Unlimited, and sees the value of donations large and small.

“The little bits are just as important as the big bits,” he said. “My dad taught me that if you put back more than you take out, it leaves plenty for the next generation.”

Patti Larson drives a school bus for the district.

Noonan said she was surprised and delighted by the community reaction.

“We see a lot of little kids with grandparents and parents coming to the playground. I hate for them to have nothing to play on,” Noonan said.

“I think this is a pretty great solution, for us to go out and raise the money on our own. We’ll just keep pressing on. The best solution would be to join with the contract we have this summer because we could get a 20 percent discount. If we can’t, we’ll just do it when we can. We won’t give up on it,” Noonan said.

Contributions are tax deductible.

For information, call 782-5134, or stop by the district office at 1638 Mono Ave., in Minden between 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Noonan said.