JRE Playground donors

Community groups joined together to raise money for a new playground at Julia Randall Elementary School. Donors included the MHA Foundation, the Mogollon Sporting Alliance, the Gracie Lee Haught Foundation and the Payson Kiwanis.

Oh goodness. This has gotten way past our mathematical abilities. We’ve been keeping a running tally on “reasons we love Rim Country.” We filled up the reporter’s notebook, ran out of paper, started making notes on napkins and ran out of napkins.

So somewhere in there, we lost count.

We’d gotten up to monsoon rain falling aslant through sunlight.

Then we added elk grazing in the American Gulch.

Oh. Wait. That was in today’s paper.

This was before that.

Maybe back there with picking wild blackberries.

Oh? That’s today’s paper too?

Well, never mind.

Point is, we lost count.

We’re probably on about reason 112,245.

But we can’t be sure we have all our napkins at hand.

So, suffice to say, we want to add to the list the effort to raise $200,000 to provide safe, new playground equipment for the little adorables attending Julia Randall Elementary School. The whole, implausible effort started with Jolynn Schinstock and Audrey Hogue, members of the Parent Teacher Organization who took on the daunting task of raising a huge sum of money to upgrade aging playground equipment with safe, state-of-the-art replacements.

Of course, any sensible person would have given up as soon as they discovered the cost — as much as $200,000.

Instead, they plunged right in.

The community responded. The MHA Foundation donated $50,000. The Mogollon Sporting Association also donated $50,000. A host of other clubs and donors added their efforts — including the Kiwanis and the Gracie Lee Haught Foundation. Parents held bake sales. Kids rang doorbells.

After an enormous, great-hearted effort — they came up with more than $150,000 — with another $50,000 from the school district.

And that’s why we love Rim Country.

For now, let’s jot it down as reason #112,246.

That probably makes the elk in the American Gulch #112,247. And the blackberries #112,248.

But we can’t be sure.

Gotta find those darn napkin notes.

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