NEWS RELEASE  –  November 22, 2017

Lamb Foundation contributes $10,500 to Al Hicks Playground at Relief Nursery

ONTARIO – During this season of giving, Treasure Valley Children’s Relief Nursery is especially thankful for all of our friends and neighbors who opened their hearts and wallets so our children could have a functioning playground.

Local residents and businesses pitched in time, supplies and money to turn a dream into reality, and now the Al Hicks Memorial Playground is in use.

Along with generous local donations, the Lamb Foundation contributed $10,500 to the playground, which includes newly-planted grass, a child-sized picnic table, a paved tricycle path with lane markers and traffic safety signs, a balance beam and more.

Alvin Hicks was a long-time school administrator in Ontario, who passed away in 2014. He was very supportive of children’s education, and in particular, education for children who had special needs. His widow, Margaret, and their three children, also contributed generously to the playground.

Additional local donors include Home Depot, with staff members installing the donating fencing, Eastern Oregon Early Learning Hub, Northwest Farm Credit Services, and Idacorp employee. Vale High School Senior Sable Kelso, who gave much of her time this past summer volunteering at the Nursery, then, as part of her Senior Project, created and donated a balance beam for the playground. Donating in-kind to the project were Zachary Howard/Lawnkeeper, Rory Clinton/Shoreline Pest Control, and Craig Eby/Ontario Tree Care. Inmates from Snake River Correctional Institution installed a tricycle path and prepared wooden features. Donating various equipment or materials for the playground were Ontario Police Chef Cal Kunz, Charlotte Dubé, Maria Lopez, and Joni Delgado. Ken and Noreen Poole donated and planted the playground’s first two trees, with a set of children’s chairs donated in honor of Nancy Poole. Additional trees will be planted next spring with funds donated in memory of John P. Collins, Jr.

“The TVCRN board, staff, parents – and most importantly, our children – are so very grateful to all the donors for their help with this project,” executive director Kathie Collins said. “In the spring, plans are in the works to add a wooden pirate ship, and to plant a garden, something with which the children will assist – as much as possible.

“Our key goal with the playground was to create a natural environment with as little metal or plastic as possible; it’s really coming along, and we couldn’t have don’t it without our generous community,” Collins said. “I hope Al would be pleased knowing so many hands went into making this a special place for children to safely play and let their imaginations soar.”

The mission of the Treasure Valley Children’s Relief Nursery is to prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening at-risk families through proven interventions. The Relief Nursery model has been proven effective in significantly reducing the risk factors facing a struggling family.

The mission of the Lamb Foundation is to support creative programs to improve the quality of human experience, guided by the values of innovation, sound management and the potential for positive impact over time particularly encouraging projects which recognize the positive impact of direct action, exploration and intellectual curiosity. The Lamb Foundation supports direct services which enhance the lives of children and youth, particularly programs which help youth reach their full potential, and to prevent future problems in society.

Community members who would like to contribute to the Al Hicks Memorial Playground may continue to do so via TVCRN’s website,, or by mailing a check made out to TVCRN with Hicks playground in the memo, to 780 S.E. 6th St., Ontario OR  97914.