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Following the completion of two awesome homes, Jeff Olson’s construction crew built seven Buddy Benches–one for each Elementary School.  Here is how the project began in the words of Mike Jessen at Environmental Services:  I  was contacted by Pat Welte and Kimberly Bolte about the possibility of building some benches and installing them in school playgrounds. The benches would  be for a fund raiser the children did in honor of Mercedes Mayfield. The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.  The idea was brought to the US by a 2nd grader in Pennsylvania after he saw one in Germany. The reasons the buddy bench was chosen as the memorial is because Mercedes was a student that would make sure no one was feeling alone.  Whenever she saw someone by themselves she would go over to them to play with them.