Brooks & Dunn weren't the only story behind a free playground built for Queensborough neighborhood kids. Hundreds of volunteers dedicated their time as well, to build the playset in one day.
Volunteers broke into teams to build the playground next to the Friendship House in the 2800 Block of Darien Street in Shreveport. Volunteer Patricia Guillaume smiled while doing her task. "I'm excited. I'm excited. I've never done this before."
In all, Guillaume was just one of at least 260 volunteers who helped with this project Thursday, to make the playground possible. And it wasn't just Home Depot employees volunteering, although there were plenty of them. Many walks of life were well represented, as were churches and civic groups.
Guillaume, for example, works for Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal, the very same organization that runs Friendship House. She signed up for this project after recalling her own childhood. "I remember being a kid and my most favorite time of the day was going to the park."
Some jobs required strength, others skill, and still others utilized their patience. Case in point: Lisa Downs a Home Depot volunteer. While grasping a tall, heavy steel beam with several others doing the same, she explained, "we're holding it. Then, they're going to come back and put the concrete in it, in it to hold it up...Hopefully not long. (laugh)."
Native son and PGA golfing great David Toms also arrived to show his support, offering to get his hands dirty, if need be. "I'm not really dressed for it, but I guess I could hammer a couple of nails," offered Toms with a grin.
From a blank canvas of dirt and asphalt to a brand new, 60-thousand dollar playground in just hours was not bad for a day's work. As for Brooks and Dunn, after their visit to Shreveport they flew to Nashville, TN where Dunn chose to have his playground built.
Besides Home Depot and the Academy of Country Music, a non-profit group known as 'KaBoom' helped organize the project. KaBoom has helped coordinate a thousand such playground projects across the country.