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Bloomington community joins Make-A-Wish to bring child's dream playground to life

On Grant Loven's 6th birthday, community members revealed a brand new playground at Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran School.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Many Make-A-Wish children wish for a one-time trip to somewhere special. But 6-year-old Grant Loven's wish is now a permanent fixture in the Bloomington community that can be shared with other kids for years to come.

Grant wished for a new playground at Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran School, where he's going to attend kindergarten this fall. Tuesday, the towering new playground in his favorite color--green--was revealed.

And Tuesday, among cheers from the community, Grant’s wish was granted.

"[Grant] will never forget this," said Jay Loven, Grant's dad. "He's been talking about this for a long time, and I know he'll never forget this."

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Tuesday, Grant's father spoke to the nearly 200 community members who came to the reveal. Many were those who helped raise the more than $200,000 to start the project. Others donated around $200,000 worth of skilled labor to finish it.

Sixty companies pitched in too. WSB Engineering donated their services to work on a site plan with Grant that became a reality.

Credit: Angela Dingels
WSB Engineering donated their services to help Grant develop a site plan.

"So many people have donated money, energy, and time to this project," Loven said. 

The Loven family also expressed thanks for the medical care Grant received from Park Nicollet and Children's Minnesota. After 27 months of chemotherapy, Grant is cancer free.

But above all, Loven says their faith in God has carried them through Grant's journey back to good health.

"In the end, we give glory to the Lord," Loven said. "Faith is a big part of our experience now, because we go to Bloomington Lutheran School. To be part of this community means a lot to us."

Kari Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Minnesota, was at the grand reveal, and said Grant's wish was unique because it drew so many people from the community together.

"For a little boy to have the wherewithal to think about his school, his community, his family, his friends - it says a lot about who he is," Davis says.

Angel Dingels, a mother whose children also attend Bloomington Living Faith, spearheaded the fundraising efforts and volunteer coordination. She says the "weeks and weeks" of volunteers working to build the playground paid off in a special way.

"My favorite part about today was seeing Grant's face, and watching his joy," Dingels said. "I look at Grant and the Loven family and I am just amazed that they chose to give back in this meaningful way."

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