FARMINGTON, N.Y. — Leonard’s Express delivered five truckloads of raw materials and playground equipment more than 1,000 miles, free of charge, from Delano, Minnesota, to Canandaigua, New York, to help with construction of a community playground.
The materials were delivered on a weekly schedule during the summer of 2021, culminating with a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in June 2022. The total value of the Leonard’s Express donation was approximately $31,000, according to a news release.
“It was a perfect opportunity to support one of our communities and demonstrate our values,” Leonard’s Express Chief Financial Officer Kyle Johnson said. “We delivered swing sets, slides, merry go rounds, buddy benches — pretty much everything on the playground except the concrete and mulch.”
Dubbed the Dream Big campaign, the playground was designed for people of all abilities to enjoy in Western New York.
Mike and Nanci Bentley from the Inclusion in Motion project spearheaded the effort with support from dozens of community partners. They say that visitors from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region have come in droves to enjoy the new outdoor space.
“Over the summer, four to six busloads of visitors came to the playground each week, including Cub Scout troops, school districts, church groups, nonprofit organizations and families and friends, all joining to create lasting memories of generations playing together,” Nanci Bentley said. “We have quickly become a popular destination for schools, adult agencies and even other municipalities to visit. Without the community’s support and the backing of donors like Leonard’s Express, this playground would not be where it is today. We couldn’t have done it by ourselves.”
And none of it could have been possible without the help of big trucks.
Leonard’s Express became involved when another trucking company was unable to keep its commitment to haul the playground’s surfacing from Pennsylvania.
“A different carrier had offered to haul the surfacing but a week before our scheduled delivery, they backed out,” Mike Bentley said. “So, I called Kyle Johnson from Leonard’s Express and asked for help. He said, ‘Absolutely.’ We were in a real jam and Leonard’s came through for us without hesitation.”
Johnson said he was happy to help.
“Leonard’s Express is proud to participate in transforming Inclusion in Motion’s big dream into a reality,” he said. “At Leonard’s Express, philanthropic activities are central to our culture and help define us as a company and as a great place to work.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.