MASON CITY—Mason City is proof that we should never underestimate some of the youngest entrepreneurs among us because even the little ones can rally together and get things done.
This was the case in Mason City where local kids fundraised nearly $1,000 to help install new playground equipment.
Chairman of the village board Kalla Sawyer said her daughter Lauren and some other local kids hosted a lemonade stand in order to raise money to repair the existing playground. A couple years ago during a large auction and estate sale taking in place in town, the kids raised more than $500 by selling baked goods, lemonade, tea, and water.
However, the money was not used right away and this past year kids such as Ruby and Blake Slocum, Joseph Schuler, Quinn and Cora Rosentreader, and Morgan and Lauren Sawyer decided they wanted some new playground equipment and five-year-old Lauren even spoke before the Mason City Community Service Club asking for help.
“Our playground was really really old and our town is really old. There’s not much places to work at and it wasn’t that fun,” five-year-old Lauren Sawyer said.
Over the course of many years and through a series of lemonade stands and bake sales, the young capitalists raised nearly $1,000 for the equipment and the Community Service Club pitched in the rest of the money and purchased the new equipment for just shy of $3,000.
In a June 30 post on the Mason City Homecoming Facebook page, it reads “Together with seven boxes, 679 pieces of lumber, 2,900 pieces of hardware, 14 volunteers, 4 quality control testers, 137 combined man hours of volunteered labor, a three day span, and one big dream we have assembled a new playground set for the children of our community!”
The new playground features three swings, slide, monkey bars, balcony, bridge, and a kid’s picnic table. Lauren said she is very excited to have this new playground in her town.
“I was really happy that we made enough money to make this whole entire playground and I just want to say thanks for the people who made it,” Lauren said.
Kalla and Lauren Sawyer are grateful for all of the support from kids, parents, friends, and community members who helped make this happen. Kalla and husband Kurt are proud of their daughters and love to see local kids already enjoying the new playground.
“It makes me happy that she [Lauren] sees value in this little community and sees something she wants to change and she goes about finding a way to get it done,” Kalla Sawyer said.
Residents in the Mason City area eventually hope to add a picnic shelter and more benches to the playground and spruce up the current equipment.
“We need to coat some paint on our old ones because it’s kind of chipping off,” Lauren said.
A special ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 20 following the Mason City Homecoming parade.
“I hope a lot of people come to homecoming and really want to play on that playground,” Lauren said.
Photos courtesy of Kalla Sawyer