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Archive for Friday, January 20, 2006

Donor of $12K serious about play

January 20, 2006

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For a long time Jean Stanton Hetzel wanted to do something for her mother's old school.

So after she saw Journal-World and 6News coverage this week about Wakarusa Valley School trying to raise $12,000 for new playground equipment, she got out her checkbook.

She presented the $12,000 check to the school's principal, Elias Espinoza, Thursday morning in the name of her mother, Veda Stanton, who in 1960 became the school's first principal.

"My mother loved teaching, and she loved the school," she said. "I like the idea they'll have new equipment."

Stanton Hetzel is the widow of Park Hetzel III. They operated Hetzel Enterprises for 40 years.

Second-grader Dawson Dykes helped when he won a $5,000 grant from Nickelodeon in an essay contest in December.

Espinoza brought Stanton Hetzel in as a surprise guest for the school's assembly Thursday.

Wakarusa Valley's parents, faculty and staff have worked three years trying to raise $32,000 for new slides and monkey bars.

"The applause just went on and on, and it was just a really nice highlight for the assembly," he said.

Espinoza said the school would place a plaque on the playground to honor the former principal and her family.

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