‘A way to give back’
A generous gift by a couple who wants to show their gratitude to a community that helped them after the loss of a child will enable other area children to enjoy themselves on the grounds of Colby High School.
Robbie and Melissa Smazal have donated $43,000 to fund playground equipment and construction of a play area, scheduled to begin in the next couple weeks. Ground shaping and preparations for paving has already been completed.
The Smazals decided to spearhead the playground project in the wake of their son Grant’s death in a Feb. 2014 car accident. Melissa was seven months pregnant with Grant at the time of the crash and was fortunate to survive herself.
The outpouring of support from family, friends and the community in the wake of the tragedy inspired the Smazals to give something back in return.
“For us, it’s a kind of therapy, a way to give back to a community that has done so much for us when we needed it,” Melissa said.
An abundance of memorials and gifts were sent to the couple after the loss of Grant from community members, even from some the couple didn’t know personally. They decided to set aside the funds and supplement them with their own contributions to build a playground in Grant’s memory.