Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Digger Dan finds wide audience

Youngsters get close look at construction equipment

October 10, 2007

You might think watching big construction machines at work would only appeal to boys, but don't tell that to Gracie Wogomon.

The 6-year-old Tonganoxie youth was, at times, standing with excitement as workers from Meadows Construction showed children how equipment such as backhoes and loaders worked during the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission's Digger Dan demonstration Saturday at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

Gayle Parker, TRC director, worried this year's event was going to have a smaller-than-average crowd because of the many activities, including youth soccer, that were happening at the same time as the event. But he said the crowd didn't disappoint.

"It turned out to be a pretty good crowd," Parker said. "We had about 50 or 60 kids there. It was another good turnout."

Parker said the idea for Digger Dan, now in its fourth year, came from rec commissioner LeAnn Bond, who's son loved the popular children's show "Bob the Builder."

"It's just another little thing we like to do for the kids at the rec department," Parker said. "It's a good collaboration between local business and the rec department."

This was the first year that Wogomon attended the show. Her grandfather Jay and grandmother Marty from Marshall, Mo., took her to the fairgrounds. She said her favorite machine was the backhoe, "Because I like to see what it digs up."

Wogomon said her friend has something similar to a backhoe that she plays with in her sandbox.

It wasn't the first year for Owen Lewis III, and his sister Randa Lewis. Their father, Owen Lewis Jr., said he has been taking the children to see Digger Dan for at least three years.

"It was cool," the younger Lewis said. "I like watching them dig out our candy."

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