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Girl presents city with check for Garfield Park
EVERETT - A girl prompted to act after someone set fire to her neighborhood playground handed the city the results of her fundraising effort last week.
Ashley Barquest, 11, raised $3,208.65 this summer. The fundraiser fell short of her $10,000 goal, but Barquest is happy with her effort.
“I feel really happy that I raised that money,” she said.
The replacement equipment cost the city almost $55,000.
Ashley’s nature is to make things right, her grandmother Karen Barquest said.
Ashley is a quiet, shy girl “until something goes wrong and then she’s driven to fix it,” Karen Barquest said previously.
Ashley Barquest said it wasn’t scary meeting new people and asking them to put out collection jars, “but I sure kept busy.”
City leaders said Ashley Barquest is the kind of young person others should emulate.
“She’s already an inspiration for this city,” Mayor Ray Stephanson said.
Someone asked Ashley how she’d like to be rewarded for her efforts, and she said she wanted to meet the mayor.
“I have no clue why,” Karen Barquest said.
Last week, she met Stephanson twice: Once to hand her fundraising check over at the City Council meeting and also at a ceremony for kids who completed the library’s summer reading challenge.
Ashley Barquest said she did the fundraiser because she thought of the younger kids who lost their playground.
The new playground equipment was installed in early July.

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