Vikings visit Falcon Heights (with video)

On a rain-soaked Wednesday the Minnesota Vikings took things indoors to spend time with the kids of Falcon Heights Elementary School.

A washout for Minnesota Vikings players turned into more interaction for the students of Falcon Heights Elementary School.

Just as Minnesota Vikings players arrived at Curtiss Field near Falcon Heights Elementary School for the organization’s annual playground build, the skies opened up and officials quickly called a 20-minute rain and lightning delay. That turned into a permanent audible.

Once a year, the Vikings, with the help of Toro and KaBOOM!, build or renovate a playground for kids at a Twin Cities school that has a limited budget with a need for a new playground. With players and coaches practicing in the morning at Winter Park – indoors on Wednesday because of the weather – most of the rest of the organization was working on the project and got it nearly completed in a light rain before the players arrived.

The audible sent players at the playground back on the busses and over to the school a few blocks away. Instead of two busses of players at the school while those on the other two busses finished the playground, the school was treated to four busses full of players and coaches.

It was clear the students didn’t mind, taking the opportunity to visit with players and receive autographs, high-fives, and some advice along the way.

This is the 10th year in a row the Toro Company, the Minnesota Vikings, and KaBOOM! have built a playground for kids in need. Through this partnership, Toro, the Vikings and KaBOOM! have helped 29,589 children get the childhood they deserve.

The existing playground was at the end of its 15-year lifecycle and was in need of replacement. The city’s three goals for a brand new playground were to provide residents with a playground tailored to the children who will use it, improve the aesthetics of the park and build a strong sense of community. The new playground is expected to be used by more than 300 kids.

The Toro Company and the Minnesota Vikings have donated more than $692,000 to build 10 playgrounds in the Twin Cities area with KaBOOM! and will give 29,589 children a great place to play during the lifetimes of the playgrounds. The annual playground build has been a cornerstone of the Vikings community outreach since the Wilf family purchased the team.

The design of the playground was based on children’s drawings created at a special design event in April.

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