Tod Horton “On Deck Playground” moving ahead!

Dear Editor,

We have reached our goal of raising $50,000 for the Tod Horton “On Deck” Playground!

The Tod Horton on Deck Playground was the recipient of a First Federal Foundation grant in the amount of $25,000 which, after our fundraising to date, left us about another $8,000 to raise in order to get everything we want to make this playground safe for the 2 to 5 year olds. The Lloyd Allen Foundation heard about Kray’s project and contacted us and told us that they would love to be a part of this wonderful project.

How great is that! Someone wanting to give us money!

They asked how Kray came about the idea and wanted a little information on how we raised our money to date and what was still needed. I sent them a run down of all our fundraising efforts, a photo of the playground and the estimated balance. Wouldn’t you know it, they called and said, “We will have a check in the mail to you for $8,000”!

On Saturday, Kray and her sisters, Whitney, will be home for Thanksgiving from Florida, and Hailey and her two, our granddaughters, Kinzie and Mallie, will be going to the bank to get photos taken with the great big First Federal check.

Kray began raising money at Tod’s memorial tournament this year, June 18 and 19. She held a bake sale during the tournament and raffled off one of G’ma Elaine’s famous blackberry pies and raised $1,200. This was the launch of her playground project and we were off to a great start!

Our next fundraiser was to take advantage of the Fourth of July holiday where we sold programs for the demolition derby, we raffled off four gift baskets and sold items at Moonlight Madness, over the holiday we raised another $4,400.

We regrouped and wrote a letter to be mailed off to businesses in Port Angeles, Sequim and a few in Grays Harbor. We sent the letter to businesses that either Tod and I did business with or that knew him. We chose to ask for donations from the other towns before asking from Forks businesses first. We know how often our local businesses get hit up for fundraising, how generous our community is and felt that our community spends a lot of money in the other towns, so why not just ask them first! The letter generated approximately $11,000! Each time a donation was received in the mail, Kray mailed a thank you letter back to them for their generous donation.

The deadline to apply for the FF Foundation grant was Sept. 1. We needed a 501(c)3 sponsor and the WEYL happily sponsored us. Jolene Winger completed the application for us and we were told that the grant would be awarded toward the end of October. We were THRILLED when we got the great news that we were the recipients of the grant.

In just four months, we raised $50,000 for this amazing project! As luck would have it, the playground company has an incentive going on through the end of the year and for every $5,000 spent on equipment, we get reward points. Those points can be used to get free items. We plan to get a few benches with backs, possibly a picnic table and possibly a custom sign made with our bonus points.

Thank you,

De Ann and Kray Horton

Editor’s note: From Kray’s fundraising letter, “My Dad, Tod Horton, who lost his life in the woods in 2010, was a large part of the WEYL and Forks High School Athletics for over 25 years, so I would like to dedicate this playground to him. It will be called “The Tod Horton On Deck Playground.”

The Forks Lions Club plans to begin work on the playground soon.