Pullman Wheelworks youth share their playground designs   Photo credit: Daniel Olsen
Pullman Wheelworks youth share their playground designs
Photo credit: Daniel Olsen

A dream is now a reality for children in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago as their drawings were turned into a new playground. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Mercy Housing’s Pullman Wheelworks Apartments with the help of more than 200 volunteers from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mercy Housing Lakefront, Burger King and non-profit KaBOOM!.

Mercy Housing Lakefront in partnership with National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation is working to renovate Pullman Wheelworks Apartments and preserve 210 affordable homes for families.

”Everyone deserves a safe place for their children to play. We’re happy to provide that today in Pullman,” said Cindy Holler, President of Mercy Housing Lakefront. “Mercy Housing Lakefront aims to build safe and healthy communities for families, and we applaud Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! for supporting these efforts.”

The new playground provides more than 200 children in the Pullman Wheelworks community with a safe place to play. Prior to the project, the children residing at Pullman Wheelworks Apartments did not have a safe place to play as the previous playground at the complex was unsafe and in need of replacement.

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in June when local children, their parents and Mercy Housing staff met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Dr Pepper Snapple Group to design their dream playground. The children’s drawings were then used to create the final playground design.

The project is part of Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM! to build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. Via Let’s Play grants and projects through 2012, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! built or improved 1,154 playgrounds, benefitting an estimated 2.8 million children during the lifetime of the playgrounds. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is also a member of the leadership circle within the KaBOOM! National Partner Program.

Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy, something KaBOOM! has been committed to since 1996.

About Mercy Housing Lakefront

Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) is one of the largest and most innovative community development organizations in the Chicago and Milwaukee regions.  MHL has developed and currently manages 27 affordable rental properties enabling 3,700 residents to live in hope. MHL has 26 years of experience and has earned more than 60 community development awards.

Mercy Housing Lakefront and its sister-organizations are working together to fulfill a ten-year Moving Forward Together campaign to build or preserve 7,500 affordable homes, create 8,000 jobs, and prevent displacement or homelessness for 20,000 people in the Chicago and Milwaukee regions. Please find additional information at www.mercyhousinglakefront.org.

About Let’s Play

Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together, through Let’s Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information, visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Mr&Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose’s, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit DrPepperSnapple.com. For our latest news and updates, follow us at Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his TheNew York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.


About Heartland Food, LLC  (dba BURGER KING®)
Founded in 2003, with restaurants located in eight Midwestern states. We have grown through a combination of new restaurant development and strategic acquisitions to become the second -largest Burger King franchisee.Heartland has a proven record of acquiring distressed, under-performing restaurants and turning them into well-run, profitable restaurants. This is accomplished through facility upgrades, the implementation and maintenance of a rigorous set of operating controls, the establishment of a culture of ethics and accountability, along with focused training to ensure food safety and quality, exceptional service and overall speed of service. For more information, visit www.heartlandfoodcorp.com.