To make a long story short … Ford Elementary School is getting its playground.

It all began on June 3 when former Clemson player Robert Smith, the Tiger mascot, and “The Hat,” Dean Cox entertained the Ford student body.

While Julie Wilkie was “walking our guests out from the auditorium,” Cox remarked that the school sure could use a playground.

The long story took a short amount of time. Cox set up a GoFundMe account, a group organized itself quickly, and less than two months later, Ford’s playground is close to reality. The equipment will be delivered and installed. Playground Installation Weekend is Aug. 3-4.

The ribbon cutting has been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 15, at 3:30 p.m.

Among those most responsible for this whirlwind project are, of course, Wilkie and Cox, Brandy Weathers Adams, Darlene Robertson Curry, Margaret McIntyre, Linda Caldwell Yarbrough, Carla Leggett and Lesley Borden.

The impromptu committee found business support from School District 55, LEC, Laurens CPW, Walmart, the Walmart Distribution Center, Chick Fil-A, Senior Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, Southern Twist of Laurens, L&L Office Supply, Destination Honda, Cooper Motor Company, Certified Security Systems, Rogers Stereo, A&H Towing, Northside Towing, AMT Inc., Holliday’s Equipment, Adair Apothecary, Adams Pest Management, StyleD with Denise Reed Washington and Laurens Auto Salvage.

Oh, by the way, the GoFundMe site is still up: https://www.gofundme.com/ford-elementary-playground-equipment?utm_medium=sms&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=8f3b08cce50748ebadc5900fcb9fac34