THE RON L. SMITH COMMUNITY PLAYGROUND

Ron Smith was an early member of The Water’s Edge. His smile was infectious. So was the sparkle in his eyes. Everyone who knew Ron knew something about him: His genuine love for people. Ron was an accountant, financial planner, and business leader in McCook. He found great joy in serving others and helping them reach their goals. Ron was a respected sports official. He and his crew called state championship games in both football and basketball. Ron was an active person who invested in the next generation.

Ron married Heidi in 2007 and built their home in Omaha. Over the next few years, they had three children: Katie, Gracie, and Gibson. Being husband and dad were Ron’s favorite roles in life. Ron enjoyed exploring new places with Heidi and loved playing with their young children.

Ron passed away after a 16-month battle with brain cancer in May, 2016. To honor Ron, the Smith family has made a generous gift to The Water’s Edge Church to build a playground for children and families in our area to enjoy. The Ron L. Smith Community Playground will open in July, 2019 and will be:

A place to play…

Children from the neighboring pre-schools. From the neighborhood. From the church. Passersby from Harrison Street. They will climb and crawl and slide and swing. The benefits of play are many. Muscles grow. Social and communication skills develop. Creativity is unleashed. Fears will be overcome. Friends will be made. Laughs will heard. Life will be experienced.

A place to gather…

Parents will sit on benches and picnic tables and watch their children play together. Phone numbers will exchanged. People new to the community will feel welcomed. Stories will be shared. Stories will be created. People will become less lonely and more connected. The playground will be a gathering place for the community.

A place to pause…

Life is busy. It moves fast forward. The playground will allow people to pause. To sit in silence and listen to the laughter of children. To rest. To relate. To dream. To disconnect from the pressures of the world and connect to one other and our Creator.

A place to welcome…

The Water’s Edge has never been about The Water’s Edge. WE have always been about our city and our God. This playground is on our church property and will be maintained by the church—but the playground belongs to the community. Jesus welcomes all to His church and so do WE.

A Word of Gratitude

On behalf of The Water’s Edge and children and families our area—I offer a heartfelt “thank you” to the Smith family. This generous gift is a wonderful tribute to a great man who loved people and loved God.

In Christ,

Craig Finnestad

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