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Johnny Carson Funds Iowa Park

March 8, 2002

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CORNING, Iowa (AP) _ Skateboarders in a small southwest Iowa town will have Johnny Carson to thank when their new park is built.

The former talk show host responded to a request for a small donation to help build the skate park in his hometown with a check for $75,000 _ enough to pay for nearly the whole project.

Lori Goldsmith, who’s organizing efforts to raise money for the park, wrote to Carson several weeks ago seeking a small contribution.

Goldsmith said she was shocked when she opened an express mail package from Carson and found the check. The project will cost about $90,000.

A committee was formed to raise money for the park after officials in this town of 1,783 people threatened to ban skateboarding downtown.

Carson, who was born in Corning in 1925, donated $15,000 to an elementary playground a few years ago. He hosted ``The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson″ on NBC from 1962-92.

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