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Willard Community Center



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Hugo A. and Thelma Aspegren Charitable Trust Grant $22,300 for Shade Structure

Willard is overwhelmed by the Hugo A. and Thelma Aspegren Charitable Trust grant request donation of $22,300. The grant dollars will be used to purchase a preschool shade structure for the east side of the Willard building. 


We originally had two trees in the playground area, providing much-needed shade.  Both ash trees were deemed unsafe because of dead and dropping branches, along with the threat of emerald ash borers. They were both removed, along with their stumps, in February 2022.  Shade is an essential and necessary part of play environments.  First, they help protect children from the sun's harmful UV rays.  It's common knowledge that it's important to help minimize exposure to UV rays to help prevent skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.  Secondly, these coverings also keep play equipment cool.   Playgrounds in the sun's heat can reach extremely high temperatures during warm seasons.  A child’s skin can be burned immediately upon contact with the equipment.  Our goal is to provide an all-around safe area for the children to play; shade structures are a necessary part of that.