Evan Tanner Helps Build A Playground

A Fighter with a big heart comes to Fort Worth to build a new playground for a low income school:

A Parent Teacher Association had been working hard to raise the funds needed to build a safe playground for the 870+ children attending this low-income school. A $5,000 grant that the school received for the playground had a stipulation. After raising the remaining funds needed for the playground equipment the school would have to build it themselves. They needed 150 volunteers to do the build successfully. A parent started contacting as many athletes as she could think of. She knew that strength and stamina was what the school was going to need to get the playground built in one day. There were few responses. Professional fighter, Evan Tanner of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) heard about the need for tough guys with big hearts and offered to fly in from Las Vegas to help.

"Your Cause is a good one." "I will be there," Evan Tanner simply stated.

The playground build was on Saturday, November 3rd. Starting at 8am and ending at 5pm when the playground was completed. Evan Tanner showed up bright and early with a smile on his face and ready to work.

Tanner spent the first part of the day building a rock climb side by side with a parent and some teachers. After that job was done he moved outside to the site and just jumped in and moved from one task to another. Seeing each task completed before he moved on to the next. Not once did he stand still unless it where for a picture with a fan.

"Tanner managed to nearly have a hand in putting together every part of this playground today." "He is amazing." "I have never seen anything like it," said a local volunteer.

After the equipment was up, concrete in, and everything leveled it was lunch time. Tanner had a few minutes to get some food in before he spent his lunch time signing autographs for the 50 or more kids attending. He brought trading cards and gave each child an autographed picture writing something inspirational on each one.

"The ones to my daughters say, Live strong and dream big and Live well, Laugh often, and Love much," revealed a fan.

He also signed a t-shirt here or there upon request. The children seemed to be in awe. He then met with some local heroes out in the parking lot. The local fire department showed up to support the build day. The bunch of heroes took part in getting some autographs as well. Once lunch was over he was back at work moving the mountain of mulch.

"That man is a machine, a human shovel," said a volunteer from a local church.

"I guarantee that Tanner moved a third of that mountain himself!" said a parent and volunteer.

"He brought the same intensity to the playground build that he brings to the octagon," stated a fan.

"He has the most heart of anyone I have ever met, a true inspiration." "Not too many people get to meet someone as humble and giving as Mr. Evan Tanner." "He flew here to work for strangers, for free." "He made this day for the kids even more special than I had hoped for." "It is nice to know that some athletes remember that they can make a difference outside of their sport." "I am Lucky to have met him," declared volunteer and Playground Leader.

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