Oakdale resident to give away playhouse in sweepstakes

Larry Eberhard, left, and his parents, Rose and Martin Eberhard, show off a playhouse Larry will be giving away to one lucky family at the end of the summer. Sprucing up an old hay wagon for the annual Summerfest parade turned into an enjoyable father-son project.  (Joshua Nielsen/Review)
Larry Eberhard, left, and his parents, Rose and Martin Eberhard, show off a playhouse Larry will be giving away to one lucky family at the end of the summer. Sprucing up an old hay wagon for the annual Summerfest parade turned into an enjoyable father-son project. (Joshua Nielsen/Review)

Playhouse will tour city on hay wagon this summer

With well over 20 years of experience selling residential real estate in Oakdale and the surrounding suburbs, Larry Eberhard knows a thing or two about houses, and about giving back to the community that has supported him throughout his career.

He’s sold over 1,000 homes in the Twin Cities metro, and has spent countless hours volunteering at Oakdale’s annual Summerfest festival and Tartan High School, and serving on the Oak Meadows Senior Housing board of directors and as past president of the Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Oakdale Business and Professional Association).

This summer Eberhard, an agent with Keller William Premier Realty, intends to put a smile on a child or two’s face by giving away a playhouse he had built for one lucky family.

The lifelong Oakdale resident says he likes to stay active in the community and has been contemplating doing something fun and special for a local family, and says this year he “finally pulled the trigger” and committed to a project.

“I was looking for a way to take my work in real estate and tie it into something that will hopefully be well received by kids in the community -- something substantial and fun,” he says.

Eberhard ordered the playhouse kit from an East Coast company and had it shipped to Oakdale on a couple of pallets, and then assembled and painted by Fixed by Rick, a business owned by Rick Rolli, a local contractor who does work for him.

The playhouse will be raffled off, Eberhard says, and anyone can enter the free sweepstakes, regardless of age or ZIP code at www.facebook.com/larrysellssaintpaul. He added that it’s only necessary to register once, since a person with multiply entries would have the same odds at winning as someone who registers just once.

The playhouse, valued at over $5,000, will make several appearances around town before it’s given away to the raffle winner in September. It will make its debut at the Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Picnic and Business Luncheon Thursday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Chamber’s community picnic is open to the public and will take place at Oakdale Fire Station No. 1, located at 5000 Hadley Ave. N.

The following week the playhouse will be a part of the parade procession for the annual Ted Bearth Grande Parade during Summerfest.

The parade begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at Geneva Avenue (Highway 120) and 15th Street, traveling east on 15th Street and concluding at City Hall.

Eberhard says fixing up an old hay wagon to transport the playhouse from the family’s old dairy farm on Stillwater Boulevard in Oakdale became a fun father-son project with his dad, Martin Eberhard, that may have been an even larger one than assembling the playhouse.

“Now we just have to fancy-up the wagon with some banners and flowers for the parade,” the younger Eberhard says.

The playhouse’s final public appearance before it’s given away will take place at Oakdale Recreation’s “Family Fun Flatables,” a free event in Richard Walton Park scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s Family Fun Flatables will include an assortment of inflatables for kids to jump and bounce on, refreshments and concessions available for purchase, as well as a children’s band performing in the band shell from noon to 2 p.m.

Registration for the drawing will close at the end of the day Saturday, and the winner of the playhouse will be announced Sunday, Sept. 20.

“I’m hoping it will find it’s way to a good home, hopefully to a family with kids or grandkids,” Eberhard says.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7822.  
 

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