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    Dream Playground to Become Reality for Gulf Coast Goodwill Children

    Young child hangs from monkey bars.Children at the Gordon Smith Child Development Center, a project of Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast (Mobile, AL) will soon have a brand new playground to enjoy. In November, children at the center enjoyed a “design day” as they put crayon to paper to design their dream playgrounds.

    With a significant investment from the PNC Foundation, volunteers and organizers from KaBOOM! will help make these drawings a reality. Elements from the children’s drawings will be incorporated into the final design for the new community playground, scheduled to be constructed in January.

    “This investment from PNC and partnership with KaBOOM! will allow Goodwill Easter Seals to give children of all abilities an opportunity at creative play, which is a great tool in furthering their learning and development,” said Frank Harkins, president and CEO of Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast.

    Currently, the children at the Gordon Smith Child Development Center, many of whom have disabilities, play on a space with equipment that is outdated and developmentally inappropriate for their age and special needs. The new state-of-the-art playground and Imagination Playground system will provide an engaging way for children of all abilities to learn, play and grow together.

    “This playground is the best type of investment for PNC because it brings together hundreds of volunteers to build a safe, fun environment to help our children explore new ideas and possibilities,” said Cedric Hatcher, PNC Gulf Coast regional president. “It takes two key elements to bring a successful development like this to the community — great partners such as Goodwill Easter Seals and great volunteer — and PNC has been fortunate to be a part of such a rewarding effort.”

    Because the neighborhood surrounding the center lacks safe play spaces, the new playground will provide the best outdoor play opportunity these children may experience during their young years.

    The playground will be the 12th built by KaBOOM! with funding from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. The playground is also one of more than 150 playgrounds KaBOOM! plans to build across the country next year in 2013.

    Dara Kahn
    Dara is Goodwill Industries International's communications project specialist. She works across the agency's communications team, helping with regular web communications and writing for various organizational publications.
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