Leonard’s Express Helps Construct Community Playground by Offering In-Kind Hauling Services

Leonard’s Express, a transportation company, delivered five truckloads of raw materials and playground equipment more than 1,000 miles, free of charge, from Delano, Minnesota, to Canandaigua, New York, to help with construction of a community playground. During the summer of 2021, the materials were delivered on a weekly basis, culminating in a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in June 2022. According to a news release, the total value of the Leonard’s Express donation was around $31,000.

“It was a perfect opportunity to support one of our communities and demonstrate our values,” Leonard’s Express Chief Financial Officer Kyle Johnson said. “We delivered swing sets, slides, merry go rounds, buddy benches — pretty much everything on the playground except the concrete and mulch.” The playground, dubbed the Dream Big campaign, was created for people of all abilities to enjoy in Western New York.

The effort was led by Mike and Nanci Bentley of the Inclusion in Motion project, with assistance from dozens of community partners. Visitors from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region are said to have flocked to the new outdoor space.

“Over the summer, four to six busloads of visitors came to the playground each week, including Cub Scout troops, school districts, church groups, nonprofit organizations and families and friends, all joining to create lasting memories of generations playing together,” Nanci Bentley said. “We have quickly become a popular destination for schools, adult agencies and even other municipalities to visit. Without the community’s support and the backing of donors like Leonard’s Express, this playground would not be where it is today. We couldn’t have done it by ourselves.”

Leonard’s Express got involved after another trucking company failed to keep its promise to transport the playground’s surfacing from Pennsylvania. “Leonard’s Express is proud to participate in transforming Inclusion in Motion’s big dream into a reality,” he said. “At Leonard’s Express, philanthropic activities are central to our culture and help define us as a company and as a great place to work.”