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With community help, donations, Ivaloo Park has new playground

Mason Priest, 8, of Hardin finds a comfortable place to rest as volunteers, such as Hardin Alderman Colin Chang (in photo at left), assemble new playground equipment at Ivaloo Park in Hardin Saturday. When asked what he thought of the new playground, Priest said, ‘I like it.’ (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News

Lisa Thacker, Stacy Nolker and Meredith Freece, Hardin Community Betterment Association officers, watched as their three-year dream was realized Saturday, as two dozen volunteers assembled new playground equipment at Hardin’s Ivaloo Park.

“Oh my goodness, you want to pinch yourself. It’s finally happened,” Nolker said.

The primary-colored play center – with two slides and multiple climbing devices – caught the attention of Central 4-H members who played on the mid-20th century jungle gym and swings before they served lunch to volunteers. The kids said they couldn’t wait to try it out.

The association embarked on the project three years ago, receiving some sticker shock on the cost of the equipment, approximately $22,000.

“I think the biggest shock to us was the price,” Thacker said. For the group, that meant a lot of fundraising – Pee Wee ballgames, working concessions at high school basketball games, selling T-shirts, holding raffles and generating two community events, Hardin Fall Festival and Hometown Christmas Celebration.

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