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Man Donates Pianos for Anyone to Play

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MANKATO, Minn. -

If you're strolling around University Square in Mankato, you may very well notice the area sounding more musical.

 
Thanks to Jack McGowan, a piano now sits next to area businesses and is available for anyone to play.

"It's going to be set over here on the sidewalk for people to play," said McGowan.

McGowan's idea started years ago,when he was helping move out a piano.
 
"I was giving them a hand, I said 'what are you going to do with this--well we're going to take it out and burn it.' I said 'well why don't you drop it at my place and I'll give it away'...so I started giving away pianos," McGowan said.

McGowan not only gives away the pianos, he's also quite the performer as he sat and tickled the ivories in University Square after he finished moving the piano.
 
"People want their kids to learn music," said McGowan. "You got a bunch of kids, you haven't got a lot of extra money, there is no market for old pianos, and I have the ability to move them."
 
For people who don't want them anymore, or for those who can't take the pianos with them when they move, Jack is there to give them new homes.
 
"And I give away 25 a year now for the last 10 or 12, 14 years," McGowan said.
 
"He's very giving, he cares a lot about Mankato, and he's just always at our church functions doing something marvelous," said Kathleen Lamont.
  
And you wouldn't be able to tell by the sound of it on Thursday, but McGowan says the piano that was donated to the University Square area was last tuned in 1910.