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After years of fundraising and thousands of hours of volunteer help, the finishing touches on Hamilton’s Circle 13 Skatepark happened in a whirlwind of activity Friday.

With the grand opening set for the next day, 34 volunteers from the Trapper Creek Job Corps Center joined about 20 volunteers from the community to put down about 15,000-square-feet of sod around the skatepark.

Circle 13 president Bryan Dufresne watched the large group of people raking out the final few rocks from the slope surrounding the park, packing heavy rolls of sod and then carefully placing them around the edge of the skatepark.

Dufresne said they had volunteers from as far away as Lewistown at the site to help finish what’s been a long journey for many in the community.

“We’re finally about to be done,” Dufresne said. “It’s almost enough to make me want to cry when I look out and see all these people here willing to help us wrap it up.”

When finished, the grass will help keep the already popular skatepark free of rocks and other dirt that can create havoc for skateboarders.

Trapper Creek students also finished setting up several benches they made for the facility.

Gary Taggart from Trapper Creek Job Corps said when they asked for volunteers at the center, everyone’s hand went up.

“It is one of their days off,” Taggart said. “They were pretty happy to be able to come here and help out. You really couldn’t ask for a better bunch of young people.”

Kobe Afterbuffalo of Utah is three months into his training to become a certified welder. He’s already gone through the training to serve as a Type 2 firefighter.

With sweat pouring off his brow, Afterbuffalo said he was happy to be a part of Friday’s work detail.

“Trapper Creek definitely changes a lot of people’s lives,” he said. “It’s certainly changed mine. I like to be able to give back.”

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Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.