Let’s Play! More than 250 Volunteers Help to Build a Playground in One Day

Volunteers join with Mercy Housing children to celebrate the completion of the playground. Photo Credit: Daniel Olsen

Volunteers join with Mercy Housing children to celebrate the completion of the playground. Photo Credit: Daniel Olsen

After three months of planning, two prep days, and one exhausting day of building, 200 children have a safe and exciting new playground.

The play space was built in less than eight hours with the help of 266 community volunteers from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Mercy Housing Lakefront, Burger King and KaBOOM!.

“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.”

Congresswoman Robin Kelly helps spread mulch on the new playground site. Photo Credit: Daniel Olsen

Congresswoman Robin Kelly helps spread mulch on the new playground site. Photo Credit: Daniel Olsen

The residents of Pullman Wheelworks designed the playground and took leadership roles in the organizational process of Build Day. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, State Representative Elgie Sims, Jr., and Alderman Anthony Beale attended the Build Day and participated in the youth talent show as well as the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This playground would not have been possible without the hundreds of volunteers who donated their time as well as the generous support of the following organizations: 9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale, U.S. District 2 Representative Robin Kelly, Illinois District 34 Representative Elgie Sims, Jr., 180o Properties, Beverly Bank, City of Chicago Streets & Sanitation Department, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Creative Solutions, Daniel Olsen Photography, Equity Residential, Henry Bros. Co., Holabird & Root, Leasing & Management Co., Madison Construction, National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation, Novak Construction, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, Plumbline Lodge #116 & Charles Reed #64 Prince Hall Masons State of Illinois, Pullman Wheelworks Residents Association, Skender Construction, and U.S. Bank.

Credit: Daniel Olsen

Credit: Daniel Olsen

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. The new playground construction is one of the final stages of the preservation process.

The playground 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.

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