What a scene it was out at Cedar Lake Elementary on a sunny Thursday afternoon. Over 60 Vikings players, coaches, and personnel attended the 12th annual Minnesota Vikings playground build.
The players took to task to put the finishing touches on a brand new state of the art playground complete with monkey bars, slides, ladders, and brand new mulch! Everybody at the construction project was all smiles as they wrapped up their yearly project that gives so much back to the community.
I was able to snap some photos and pull aside a couple of players who were more than happy to be there. I caught up with a sweaty Everson Griffen as he hauled a wheel barrow full of mulch. I asked him is this actually hard work or is this just fun for you guys?
"It's good times man. Our hard work is done for the day, you know this is fun work. We are out here for the community, building a playground. It's an opportunity for us to give back and thank the people that cheer us on and root for us every week."
Kyle Rudolph is a veteran of the playground build projects. He participated in his seventh build Wednesday as a member of the Vikings. He, along with Linval Joseph and some of the team's bigger players, volunteer to take the heavy-duty-lifting task of hauling the mulch from the giant pile to the new sand(mulch)-box.
Rudolph was not out there simply going through the motions, as he told me, he takes this opportunity seriously.
"I'm trying to work hard while we're out here. It's important for us as an organization to support the community. This is a big initiative from the Wilf family. This is my seventh playground build now. You know they've become fun. It's an opportunity for us to impact the community and for us to get out here near our new practice facility. It's great to get out and provide this incredible playground for this school and these kids."
The starting quarterback for the Vikings, Sam Bradford, was also out there doing his part. He checked in with the media, and also talked about how grateful he was just to have to chance to give back.
"Any time we can get out in the community and just give back. It's a great thing this organzation does in building playgrounds and hopefully these kids will enjoy and have fun. Hopefully they will enjoy it with as much fun as we had building it."
The project was completed Thursday as the Vikings organization interacted both on the playground and in the classrooms with the elementary students.
If the looks on the kids' faces were any indication, this project will provide years and years of joy for the students and the community at Cedar Lake Elementary.