Nonprofit donates playground covers to Vero Beach
By Jessica Creagan
VERO BEACH -- The popular playground site at JayCee Park in Vero beach just got a bonus attraction, a sunshade cover.
The Buggy Bunch, a nonprofit support group for mothers, has been working with the city for two years to get a sun shade covering to one of the city's playgrounds. The heavy duty tarp will be stretched over the top of the playground equipment, providing UV ray protection and cooler temperatures of both the equipment and the playground area.
The funding for the covering was provided by a $25,000 grant from State Farm Insurance. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 3.
Rob Slezak, Vero Beach recreation director, said he was thrilled with the public-private partnership bringing the sunshades to the city.
"This is a first for Vero Beach. We have had some coverings before, but they were over benches. This will be the first to be over the playground," Mr. Slezak said.
The recreation department has had an ever tightening budget for the past several years and providing something like this for the public would just not be possible without outside help, he said.
"We can't say enough, we just appreciate and are so thankful for them stepping up to do this," Mr. Slezak said.
Not only will the playground sunshades provide relief from the Florida heat, but studies have shown that one in five Americans develop skin cancer. With this statistic in mind, The Buggy Bunch hopes that the playground shade initiative will go a long way in protecting the children of Indian River County and ultimately save lives, a press release from The Buggy Bunch said.
Local dermatologist John W. McDonald voiced his support for the sunshade in a press release.
"Sun protection should begin in childhood and continue throughout life. I am happy to help The Buggy Bunch with this important issue," Dr. McDonald said.
Local State Farm agent Kathy Modesitt also expressed her excitement for the covers in a press release.
"I am so pleased to represent State Farm who generously donates throughout the U.S. to help better our communities, and to be a part of the Buggy Bunch who saw the vision and has helped to make it happen," Ms. Modesitt said.
For more information about The Buggy Bunch, visit www.thebuggybunch.com or www.facebook.com/TheBuggyBunch.