YAT Receives Check From Gunn Park Trails

YAT members receive a check from Gunn Park Trail members at the site of the multi-sensory play area in Ellis Park Wednesday afternoon. From left: front is Frank Halsey, Gunn Park Trails organizer; Diana Mitchell, YAT member; and Penny Pollack-Barnes, Tri-Yak-Athon Race coordinator. In back from left are Tom Robertson, Eric Bailey and Larry Fink, all YAT members.

Slow but sure progress is being made on a playground for children in the community.

Youth Activity Team members met at the future site of a multi-sensory playground at Ellis Park in Fort Scott Wednesday to receive a  $2,500 check from representatives of Gunn Park Trails to add to the fundraising efforts to build the playground.

Frank Halsey, who has blazed trails at Gunn Park for about a decade and in the last five years initiated the annual Tri-Yak-Athon contest, was there with the check.

The Tri-Yak-Athon is a race for bikers, runners and kayakers, which this year was turned over to Penny Pollack-Barnes to help coordinate. Gunn Park Trails members host the Tri-Yak-Athon.

Barnes presented the check, which was proceeds from the Tri-Yak-Athon in October, to the YAT.

The YAT members present to receive the check were Eric Bailey, Larry Fink, Diana Mitchell, and Tom Robertson.

Halsey said this is the first money raised for a cause by the Tri-Yak-Athon.

“We appreciate what you’ve done,” Mitchell told Halsey.

The goal for the playground is $180,000 and with this check, $39,000 has been raised, Mitchell said.

The playground equipment will eventually be at the south end of Ellis Park, west of the basketball court and near the UMB Pavillion.

“We have a lot more fundraising to do,” she said.

The YAT have a list of fundraisers they have sponsored through the years.

In 2007 the YAT initiated a Miles of Pennies community fundraiser for the Guinness Book of Records; in 2008 they sponsored a Jason Aldean concert for the city; in 2009 they sponsored a Luke Bryan concert, Mitchell said.

Then the group took a few years off.

In 2011 both Aldean and Bryan and the Duck Dynasty family came for the last concert.


The planned multi-sensory playground will be located in Ellis Park at the south end.

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