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Pepsi donates to playground fund

Greg Crouch, president and CEO of Pepsi Bottling of Luverne, presents a check for $5,000 to Travis Colquett, head of the Kiwanis playground project. This is the second $5,000 donation Pepsi has made to the project. Crouch said it would not be the last. JOURNAL PHOTO | MONA MOORE

Greg Crouch, president and CEO of Pepsi Bottling of Luverne, presents a check for $5,000 to Travis Colquett, head of the Kiwanis playground project. This is the second $5,000 donation Pepsi has made to the project. Crouch said it would not be the last.
JOURNAL PHOTO | MONA MOORE

Thanks to a donation from Pepsi Cola, the Luverne playground is $5,000 closer to being built.

Greg Crouch, president and CEO of Pepsi Bottling of Luverne, presented the $5,000 check to Travis Colquett, who has spearheaded fundraising for the playground for nearly two years.

“We are super appreciative of Pepsi and everything they continue to do in our town,” Colquett said.

The project is a joint effort of the Luverne Kiwanis Club, City of Luverne and Pepsi. The bottling company donated manpower to help remove unsafe playground equipment at the start of the project. To date, Pepsi has donated $10,000.

“We spend most of our time working with our heads down, but we’re eager to help this community,” Crouch said.

The funds came directly from PepsiCo.

“I want to make an additional commitment today for Pepsi Luverne of another $10,000,” Crouch said. “We want to see this done.”

Crouch also donated any manpower the project would need once fundraising was complete and the building phase could begin.

On behalf of Luverne, Colquett applied for a $50,000 federal grant to help pay for the $110,000 project. The grant was accepted and officials say the funds should be available any day now.

In the meantime, Colquett has solicited corporations like Pepsi Luverne for additional funding. Pepsi was the first to come through with its donation and pledge of $20,000, leaving the project with a $40,000 deficit.

Colquett said 2015 would be all about fundraising. He is currently looking into nonprofits and other sources of funding. Once the $110,000 is raised, the playground project will move on to the building phase.