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Crush a car, support a cause

Bob Tift, president of Crescent Cove, smashes a minivan at Extreme Sandbox to finish off a three-day giving campaign. (Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx)1 / 2
Glass shatters out of one of the van’s windows from the pressure of the excavator bucket. (Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx)2 / 2

Extreme Sandbox in Hastings teamed up with Crescent Cove to raise funds for the first children’s hospice and respite care center in the Midwest. 

They did it by crushing a minivan painted in Green Bay Packers colors.

It was the first annual Vikings/Packers Extreme Border Battle Event held at Extreme Sandbox. While the Packers and Vikings football teams battled it out on the gridiron, their fans battled it out late last week and over the weekend by seeing which “team” could raise the most money for Crescent Cove. The team that raised the most money got to crush a minivan painted in the opponent’s colors.

Extreme Sandbox owner Randy Stenger got the idea last Wednesday to do some sort of event for the Vikings/Packers game, he said. He and his staff even got the vans painted – one for the Vikings and one for the Packers – before they even knew how they were going to use them.

Then it hit him. A couple years ago he had gotten to know about Crescent Cove, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting children with life-threatening conditions and their families. Formerly named Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota, the organization is working toward building the first hospice and respite care facility for children in the Midwest, as well as only the fourth such facility in the entire nation.

Crescent Cove’s mission struck a personal chord with Stenger, he said. He used to work at a children’s hospital and cares a great deal for children, and his father received hospice care. So when Katie Lindenfelser of Crescent Cove called him to ask for a donation, she found a long-term supporter of the cause. Late last week, Stenger turned the border battle into a car crush fundraiser for Crescent Cove.

In the few days between Stenger’s idea and Sunday’s Vikings/Packers game, donors helped raise about $1,000 for Crescent Cove. In the end, it was the Vikings fans who won, dooming the green and gold painted van to a very messy end. On Monday, Nov. 24, Bob Tift, president of Crescent Cove, hopped in the cab of Extreme Sandbox’s big excavator and destroyed the losing team’s van.

Stenger said this definitely won’t be the first time his business hosts the border battle event. He’s planning on holding it every year.

Awareness

Stenger and Tift said that the purpose of the car crush was more to raise awareness about Crescent Cove and its mission.

What Crescent Cove is working toward is a regional facility with eight to 10 bedrooms and three or four suites for families.

“The first of its kind in the Midwest and the fourth to be built in this country, Crescent Cove will offer a family-focused environment,” the organization states on its website. “Along with therapy rooms and recreational space, family suites will be designed so that families may stay together while enjoying a temporary vacation from the constant demands of caregiving. Skilled professionals will be on-site to provide daily care, meals, pain and symptom control, and therapies that include music, art and hydrotherapy.”

Where, exactly, it would be located has yet to be determined, Tift said, and the timeline depends on fundraising efforts. To avoid going into debt on the project, Crescent Cove is working toward raising $10 million.

For more about Crescent Cove, go to www.crescentcove.org.

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