Designed to benefit new Cocoa Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida
By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
COCOA -- More than 200 volunteers came out on Saturday, Nov. 16 with one goal in mind -- building a new playground in less than eight hours at the new Cocoa branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
The crowd, featuring those from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS, KaBOOM! organizers and community residents, came together to construct the playground. The design for the playground was based on drawings by children who participated in a Design Day event in August.
"It took us less than six hours to build the playground," said Tina Ashe, director of marketing and communications for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. "Our goal was to finish in less than eight hours, but we beat it."
Featuring a climbing wall, a triple shoot-out basketball, ripple bridge, swing sets, slither slide, activity wall and much more, the newly constructed playground will provide children in Cocoa a place to play every day, in order to be active and healthy.
"There were also side volunteer projects, like planting raised garden boxes and benches, building shade structures, painting tables and more," Mrs. Ashe added.
Currently, the children who will be served by the new Cocoa branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs do not have a playground to enjoy.
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together community interests and business to construct more than 2,300 playgrounds across North America.
The new playground is just one of dozens made possible with the support of Disney, which inspires kids to lead a healthier life, while providing children in Cocoa a safe place to play.
"We are slated to open the new Cocoa branch in mid-December," Mrs. Ashe said. "The new Cocoa branch, our third club in Brevard County, will have the capacity to serve about 150 to 175 children, between the ages of 6 and 18, each day."
Offering a variety of youth development programs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has provided at-risk children a safe place to learn and grow since 1944, according to its websie. The mission of the organization is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Brevard's two other Boys & Girls Clubs locations include the Mims and Temple Terrace branches.
Saturday's event also included a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new play area.
"It is so important that these children in the local community have a safe place to play," Mrs. Ashe said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Cocoa Branch is located at 814 Dixon Blvd., Cocoa.
Registration for your child to be a club member of the new Cocoa Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is currently open. Children must be between the ages of 6 and 18. Membership is $15.
For more information, call (407) 841-6855.