Ava Community Playground Project gains national attention

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AVA, Mo. -- Many of us have seen the Energizer Bunny; it keeps going and going and going.  One woman from Ava has the same mentality as she helps bring a community playground to the area.  Energizer is honoring playground creator Jessica Jenkins because of her efforts.

She is one of only 100 people nationwide to be nominated for its Keep Going Hall of Fame. If she wins, it could bring a much needed boost to their idea that started many years ago.

"I really hope this inspires a lot of people," said Jessica Jenkins.

The dream of a community playground in Ava keeps on going.

"We're still working really hard to meet with everybody, talk with them about it, answer their questions," said Jessica Jenkins.

Since its inception last year, the project was a front runner in the Pepsi refresh project and a winner of a $1,000 grant from Reader's Digest.

"To raise $250,000 by October 4 is a huge task," Jenkins said.

Now the project, or rather the person behind the project, has a new honor.  Jenkins is one of 100 semifinalists for the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame.  The program is dedicated to celebrating everyday people who are determined to make a difference.

"It got to the part about the prize money, and just what that would do for the project to win that grand prize," Jenkins said.

The top prize is $10,000 with an extra $5,000 going to the winner's charity.

It would be all for a project that came about because of the tragic loss of her baby daughter, Jayla, in 2004

"We're using this as a memorial for our little girl," Jenkins said.  "When we visit this place, it's going to be all about her. Even though we won't see her physically, playing and running and enjoying the physical structure, we know she's there."

The Energizer Hall of Fame Top 10 Finalists will be announced in April.  Facebook will host a public vote that will determine one of the Top 10 finalists.

Voting goes until the March 25 at midnight and you can only vote once.

For more infomation, you can send an e-mail message to avaplayground@live.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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