Second-grader empties piggy bank, begins fundraiser to replace burned-down school playground

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Dominic Gaeta

Dominic Gaeta

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ERIE, Colo. -- A 7-year-old launched an effort to raise money to pay for a new playground burned down by arsonists this week.

It happened at his school, Black Rock Elementary in Erie. After seeing it on the news, Dominic Gaeta ran up the stairs, grabbed his piggy bank, and as he put it, "I took this lid off ... and then poured the money!" Before that he told his mother he wanted to donate it to the school. He had $7.

"Well, some baaaad people, apparently wanted to destroy one of the playgrounds at Black Rock," Dominic says.

"It made me pretty sad about it!" He has his suspicions about who committed the destructive crime. "I think it was teenagers ... because teenagers are often just mean to little people!"

What he says the teenagers didn't understand is how that playground, reserved for the school's kindergartners, is sacred ground.

"There's a friend of mine that goes to kindergarten, and I want him to -- you know -- have a playground to have."

Dominic, a 2nd grader, is sincere when he says that playground is a small part of an even more special school. "Really, that school is -- I just don't know how to say it. It's just really a nice school to be at!"

So, with feelings like that, it's clear why he's motivated to help get the playground back. And why he was inspired to pop open that lid on his piggy bank.

Any parent can relate to the reaction Dominic's mom Kathy had, "I was so proud."

With the help of the Internet and, what first started as a piggy bank fund with seven bucks in it is now a lot higher.

Follow this link if you want to help Dominic out, and to see how big his fund has grown.

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