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Pennies for Playgrounds: Local boy raises $63,000 with help of community

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An area 12 year old boy is helping better the lives of residents in Dalhart, one penny at a time.  

Whether it's mowing lawns, or collecting pennies, 12 year old Dyllon Orthman says he will do just about anything to help make his community a better place.

"God did put people here to do something, and I think he put me here to do that," he told us.

Last year, Dyllon mowed 87 lawns and brought in more than $16,000 dollars to help raise money for a family who lost everything when an F-5 tornado ripped through Moore, OK.

But recently, he's been up to something a little closer to home.

"Right now we are building a playground because we only have swings," he explained to us while we were at the Dalhart Intermediate School.

"I didn't think it was going to take off, and next thing I know, Dyllon was really pushing me... 'mom we really need to get a playground, a  handicap accessible playground for my school.'" his mom Kristi Orthman said.

The Pennies for Playground project came about when Dyllon said he saw a few of his friends get bullied on the playground. With only a swing set and some monkey bars, Dyllon came up with the idea of having a larger playground for able bodied and disabled students. 

"We're just getting pennies and money. It's all donations," Dyllon said.

Over time it's added up. With the help of the community, Dyllon has been able to raise $63,000, enough money to swing his plan into motion.

"When we moved from our old building to here, this campus was not equipped with a playground. We had the old football field but no equipment," said Principal Mark McCormick.

Now with all of the money raised, Dyllon and the school hope the ground breaking will begin in June so it will be ready for the start of the next school year.

On Friday, Dyllon was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the Dalhart Chamber of Commerce.  
    
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