Community rallies to gift Longview girl with new swing set

Community rallies to gift Longview girl with new swing set

LONGVIEW, Wash. -- The community stepped up in a big way following a KATU story about a young girl whose swing set was stolen.

We told you about 10-year-old Katherine Whitman earlier this week. Her swing set was stolen two years ago from her backyard in Longview. Her grandmother, still upset about the theft, wrote a letter to The Daily News in Longview, which spurred others to action.

KATU put out the request for viewers to respond this week, and they did -- big time.

Katherine was presented with the surprise when she arrived home from school on Friday.

The 10-year-old was shocked and overjoyed. She was benevolent: she said she wants her neighborhood friends to use it, as well.

The manpower came from many folks. First, there was Dave, who did not wish to reveal his last name. He donated half the money.

“It feels good,” he said. “I hope that they feel better about people now.”

Next, WalMart stepped up, donating the swing set materials. After KATU called seven stores, we found last season’s stock at a WalMart in Wood Village.

Gus McCaslin, KATU’s facilities manager, provided the transportation. And Ed Davis, owner of Precision Recreation in Southeast Portland, volunteered his muscle.

His crew took a day off from work and drove to Longview to build Katherine the play structure. The crew even called Swanson Bark and Wood Products in Longview to get donated wood chips.

After being presented with the swing set, Katherine hugged her mother and grandmother, and dozens of neighborhood kids began playing on the swing set. A fitting end.