City of Rockledge, ROC Foundation, Disney Cruise Line and KaBOOM! build new playground for children in one day
ROCKLEDGE, Fla. (July 28, 2012) – More than 200 volunteers from the City of Rockledge, the Rockledge Recreation Open-Space and Conservation (ROC) Foundation, Disney VoluntEARS, and local community residents came together today to assist KaBOOM! in building a much-needed playground and learning garden at Dr. Robert A. Anderson Park. In approximately six hours, the group constructed a safe new play space to serve more than 1,000 local children as a great place to play and learn about healthy living.
”We’re really pleased that we were able to partner with the Rockledge Recreation, Open-Space and Conservation Foundation, Disney and KaBOOM! on this genuine community effort,” said Rockledge City Manager Jim McKnight. “Creating safe play spaces for our children provides them with an increased number of opportunities to forge new friendships and engage in outdoor activities when they might not have had that chance otherwise,” McKnight said. “I’m really proud of what all of these dedicated volunteers accomplished today.”
Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in May when local children and community leaders met with organizers from Disney Cruise Line and KaBOOM! to design their dream playground. The children’s drawings were then used to create the final playground design which was partially inspired by the nautical theme of Disney Cruise Line and includes a climbing area that looks like the bow of a ship and a search for “sunken treasure” throughout the playground. Stepping stones and the picket fence in the learning garden area were decorated by crew members of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, who incorporated words such as “Play,” “Fun” and “Grow” in their native languages from around the world.
”The Rockledge Recreation, Open-Space and Conservation (ROC) Foundation is pleased to partner with the City, KaBOOM! and Disney to bring about the completion of this new playground.” said Larry Schultz President and CEO of the Rockledge ROC Foundation. “This project full fills a long standing need for a new, healthy and innovative play space in the City and demonstrates the ROC Foundation’s continuing commitment to improve the recreation opportunities for everyone in our community.”
”Every child deserves to have a great place to play and we’re thrilled to continue our work with Disney in striving toward that goal,” said Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! Founder & CEO. “Thanks to the efforts from Disney, KaBOOM!, the City of Rockledge and the Rockledge Recreation Open-Space and Conservation Foundation, we moved one step closer to the KaBOOM! vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.”
Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner, and supports the nonprofit’s vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 2011, Disney has pledged more than $3.5 million to help build 20 playgrounds and learning gardens with the participation of more than a thousand Disney VoluntEARS. At the end of 2012, Disney will have helped KaBOOM! build 30 playgrounds. These builds are an extension of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, an initiative that partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles.
”The cast and crew members of Disney Cruise Line are thrilled to pitch in and help build a safe place for children to play and stay active while using their imagination and creativity,” said Disney Cruise Line President, Karl Holz. “It is especially meaningful for us to build this playground in Brevard County, near Port Canaveral. We continually strive to make a positive impact in the lives of our neighbors in all of our homeports and destinations around the world.”
“Only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground,” said Leslie Goodman, vice president, Disney Citizenship. “Disney is proud to join KaBOOM!, the City of Rockledge and the Rockledge Recreation Open-Space and Conservation Foundation to build a new playground for the community. Together, we hope to make places to play more accessible, and inspire kids and families to stay active.”
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City of Rockledge
Encompassing approximately 11.5 square miles and a population of just over 25,000, the City of Rockledge is the oldest incorporated municipality in Brevard County. Founded on the shoreline of the aesthetic Indian River Lagoon in 1887, Rockledge is a full-service community that provides its citizens with a wide array of services, including law enforcement, fire protection and emergency medical responders, and solid waste and recycling collection, as well as a considerable number of parks, green spaces and recreational opportunities. Although Rockledge is primarily a residential community, the city has a stable base of clean, light industry and offers a variety of available commercial and retail establishments to meet the needs of its residents.
Rockledge Recreation Open-Space and Conservation Foundation
The Rockledge Recreation, Open-Space and Conservation (ROC) Foundation is firmly committed to promoting and expanding the availability of recreational opportunities for the children and families in the Rockledge community. In order to achieve its goals, the ROC Foundation strives to: enhance recreation and the availability of open space and conservation within the City of Rockledge by sponsoring projects and programs that cannot be included in a governmental budget; improve existing recreational opportunities, parks and open space areas; create new parks and open space in the community; conserve environmentally sensitive land; and promote a volunteer program designed to supplement the funding of the Brevard Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Rockledge.
Disney Cruise Line
Based in Celebration, Fla., Disney Cruise Line is focused on providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and kids can immerse themselves in worlds of fantasy only Disney can create. Most recently, the company was recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the top “Cruise Ships of the World,” with the Disney Magic being voted No. 1 and the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder tying for No. 2. Travel + Leisuremagazine also ranked Disney Cruise Line the No. 1 Large-Ship Cruise Line for Families. For more information, please visit www.dclnews.com.
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products, and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of about $40.9 billion in its last fiscal year. Disney Citizenship focuses on three key principles: act and create in an ethical manner; champion the happiness and well-being of kids and families; and inspire those around us to make a lasting, positive change in the world. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. Disney strives to support that goal through quality entertainment, strategic philanthropy, environmental conservation, respectful workplaces, and community engagement. For more information on Disney Citizenship, please visit:www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. 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. To fight this play deficit, 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. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 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 The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. 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 offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.