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West Concord girl works to make playgrounds fun for everyone

WEST CONCORD, Minn. (FOX 47) – A 9-year-old girl is making a difference in her community in a big way. Sydney Naze from West Concord took it upon herself to raise money to make her neighborhood park accessible to everyone.

“I don’t want to be selfish and want just me to have fun, I want everyone to have fun with me,” Sydney said.

As a Girl Scout, you make an oath to “help people at all times.” Sydney is determined to live that out.

Sydney’s mother, Wendy, leads troops #43032 and #44701. She says the girls saw the community’s need.

“The girls saw that the west concord park was not handicap accessible,” she said.

The troop took action.

“One of us thought up, why don’t we make the parks better?” Sydney added.

So, it started with a letter from her girl scout troop.

“We pursued it right away. It was just a no brainier,” West Concord Maintenance Superintendent Keith Clammer said.

Clammer says when he received a letter from the girls, he immediately brought it to the city council.

“It was one of those things here where a kid caught something an adult should have caught,” he added.

Remodeling plans were quickly devised. Those renovations would cost $85,000. Not a sum West Concord could pay all by itself. An influx of private donations also helped, but still more was needed. Plus, there was another barrier. Rules about fundraising wouldn’t let Sydney and her friends raise funds for the project as Girl Scouts.

“I said if I can’t do it as a Girl Scout,” Sydney said. “I’ll do it as me.”

Sydney took it upon herself to raise money of her own. With the project just short $7,000 from their financial goal, Sydney decided to throw a Valentine Pajama Party. From the decorations to the movie choice, Sydney planned it all.

“I think it will be fun. It’s a free will donation,” Sydney said.

Clammer is confident the park will be up and running by the beginning of July. Soon, big changes will come to both West Concord playgrounds.

“The structure is going to change its coming off of an angle to have the handicap ramp coming in,” Clammer said.

So everyone can play.

“The community isn’t only my town, it’s my friends!” Sydney exclaimed.

The party runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday at the West Concord Library. Sydney says it’s open to everyone.

If you’d like to make a donation, call West Concord City Hall at 507.527.2668.  Checks need to be made out to “The Cardinal Club” with the note “Donation for Lions Park” on the comment line.

Beret Leone

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