On July 13, 10 members of the Bethany College football team helped build the first playground in the nation for special needs students at Coronado Elementary School in Salina.
Justin Bane, Rocky Castro, Kelton Evans, Tevis Linnebur, Rodney Molette, Jacob Schmidt, Erik Soliz, Jaraf Thomas, LonDarius Thomas and Caleb Worley lived out all of Bethany's core values of integrity, hospitality, community, servant leadership and sustainability.
"It was a great opportunity to see the local community come together as well as a chance to do something meaningful with my teammates for the community," said Bane, the Swedes new quarterback. "I truly enjoyed working with the kind folks here in Kansas."
The playground is 10,800 square feet and is handicap accessible. Upon completion, 600 children will be able to utilize the playground at one time. It should be ready by the time school starts in August.
"It was a tremendous opportunity for us as well as the kids, and it was great to see the community come together," said Linnebur, returning running back. "It was a bigger event than we ever really expected; it was awesome!"
More than 500 volunteers from the community showed up to help. AMBUC's members, church organizations, families from Coronado School, Boy Scouts, community members, Brown Mackie College and South High School football players in addition to Bethany College football players.
View pictures on the Swedes’ athletics Facebook page.
The Bethany College Swedes compete in 18 intercollegiate sports in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Bethany participates in the NAIA Champions of Character program, which encourages integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the community.
Since 1902, Bethany has won 152 conference championships.
Learn more about the Bethany College Swedes’ athletic programs at www.bethanyswedes.com.