Momentum continues for the inclusive playground in Owatonna. The goal for the project gets a bit closer with each fundraiser. Cash Wise Foods presented a check to representatives of We All Play Wednesday. Optimism exists for a groundbreaking next spring or summer. A Miracle Field ball diamond is also part of the plan for Manthey Park.

The check was the proceeds of the "Penny per Point" fundraiser Cash Wise created along with KRFO radio to donate to the effort. The $1,153.26 represents one penny point of each Owatonna High School varsity sporting event. While the Huskies football team won the state championship and the gymnastics team captured third place, Owatonna's trap shooting team contributed far and away the biggest contribution to the overall point total.

Approximately $730,000 has been raised thus far. The total project is about $1.1 million. Tim Truelson with Owatonna Parks and Recreation said, "We just recently received donations from the Owatonna Foundation and Federated Insurance. We applied for a few more grants."

Truelson said We All Play shared a booth at the fair with the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and got some good exposure, "People were really excited about it...Kids showing the parents about the project. The schools have been really involved. They've raised over $20,000."

Amanda Gislason is with We All Play. "Our community is amazing and Cash Wise has been very helpful. People come up or give us a call and say, 'Hey, we want to do something for you.'" She has seen broad-based interest in the initiative, "I think that's the coolest part. We've really seen the community come together."

Cash Wise store director Brian Elwer saw a video on the project that left an impact on him, "There was a woman on there, she wasn't able-bodied. And now she was able to play with her kids on the playground. I'd never thought of it that way. It's just a great cause, a great thing for the community. So many smiles will come from it."

Gunnar is pictured with Elwer, Truelson and Gislason in the attached photo.



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