LARNED — Electrician Jim Haynes loves helping children.
When the Doerr-Vernon Extreme Makeover resumes Friday, Haynes will have two major jobs to oversee that will benefit the children — installing innovative playground equipment and connecting electricity for the Splash Pad.
If anyone wants to volunteer to help, the president of Haynes Electric will put them to work.
“We will take any willing volunteers who can help and put them to work,” he said. “We had a lot of fun last time and I’m sure it will be the same this time.”
One of Haynes’ favorite jobs last time was using a machine that drilled holes in the ground. Volunteers of all ages assisted with the job.
Additional playground equipment will be installed in about 10 hours — handicapped music walls, spring toys to jump on and digger toys by the sand in Doerr-Vernon Park.
“It’s all fun,” he said. “We have several different areas to work on. There are handicapped-accessible music walls that make noise. They are grasshopper spring toys. There will be different toys where you can sit and scoop sand.”
Haynes said he’s seen other playgrounds with those types of playground equipment, but everything will be new at Doerr-Vernon Park, including a toy backhoe.
“Everything is installed in the ground and secured,” he said.
Other employees from Haynes assisting will be master electrician Keith Haynes, Jeff Burris, Casey Hatfield and Kaitlyn Haynes.
Jim Haynes, also a master electrician, will also oversee eight hours of Splash Pad work.
“We’ll make sure everything is working, ground all the equipment and do all the finishing work,” he said.
Haynes said his company employs more than 20 people. Giving back with volunteer labor and equipment for a community project is something he believes in.
“We’re fortunate to be in a community who have ability to get things done,” he said. “I believe it’s part of our heritage as pioneers to give your expertise when needed and work together to make the area grow. This is a project that will benefit everyone.”
Haynes said he especially enjoys when he can help show young people that giving back to their community is part of their civic duty.
“It’s my belief that you help when you can and do anything you can to help your community out,” he said.
He said he runs his business the same way.
“You do the job right, treat people the right way and give back to the area when you are able,” he said.
Doerr-Vernon Park will be busy, especially Saturday when the Santa Fe Trail Days will be under way. Hundreds of people will come for Santa Fe Trail Days. Hundreds of others will be working at Doerr-Vernon Park.
The finishing touches on the Fort Larned structure will involve Jim Vratil of Larned and a four-man leadership crew. Team leaders Vratil, Richard Deckert and the father-son team of Galen Hewson and Adam Hewson are members of the Noon Lions Club.
Four separate concrete blocks have been covered by four connecting wooden structures. Leon Sanders drafted the architect’s plans.
Vratil said stairways and slides still must be constructed.
David Woods of Woods Alfalfa Hay Company supplied a telehandler, a versatile forklift capable of lifting a 6,000-pound load.
Angie Murray, Larned Pride organizer, said more than 100 volunteers during the previous Makeover Weekend.
“The park looks better every day and everything has gone really well,” she said.
A $125,000 Kansas Department of Commerce Small Communities Improvement Program grant pays for materials. Doerr-Vernon Park is being transformed into a Splash Pad featuring a Fort Larned Frontier theme. Donated labor and equipment is required to be 40 percent of the project.