This playground is a community project that Jennie-O Turkey Store has supported.
“This was true volunteerism as the team members all participated on their own time,” said Pat Solheid, vice president of human resources and administration, Jennie-O Turkey Store. “Our company and our employees have always placed high value on supporting the communities in which we live and work, so we are so excited to see this initiative come to fruition. This playground is for all children of all abilities and all backgrounds, how great is that?!”
The playground will be the largest fully-accessible playground in the Midwest and was built over a nine-day period in May with the help of hundreds of volunteers, including many from the Jennie-O Turkey Store Willmar (Minn.) locations, including the Corporate Office, Willmar Avenue Plant and the Benson Avenue Plant.
Our company and our employees have always placed high value on supporting the communities in which we live and work, so we are so excited to see this initiative come to fruition.Pat Solheid, vice president of human resources and administration, Jennie-O Turkey Store
“Being involved in this project was even more rewarding than I ever thought it would be,” said Rick Schwantes, manager of revenue finance for foodservice, Jennie-O Turkey Store, who was a build captain and worked on site at the project every day. “To see the finished product and realize what we all accomplished is truly outstanding. I hope everyone who was a part of this project will feel great pride every time they visit the playground.”
Another Jennie-O Turkey Store team member, Melissa Sorenson, corporate employment specialist, served on the Destination Playground team as one of the volunteer coordinators. Sorenson reported that over 3,700 people volunteered throughout the course of the project.
“I consider myself blessed to be a part of the journey, as I have met so many new people and have gained many, many new friendships throughout the process,” Sorenson said. “After months of planning, hours of preparing and meetings on top of meetings, we are complete and the playground is built.”
The last phase of the build is to pour a rubberized mat flooring over the entire playground surface and let it cure for two weeks. The grand opening of the playground will be on June 24 in conjunction with the WillmarFest community celebration.
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