ANAHEIM – As the sun was setting on March 4, children in Anaheim had a great new place to play. The new playground at Schweitzer Park (238 S. Bel Air St.) was fully assembled in less than eight hours with the help of more than 200 volunteers, including local community residents, City of Anaheim and Anaheim Family YMCA volunteers, Disney VoluntEARS and KaBOOM! organizers.
Today’s playground will provide more than 2,000 children in Anaheim with a safe place to play. Planning for the playground began at a design day event held in January. Children from Schweitzer Elementary School and local community leaders met with organizers from Disney and KaBOOM! to design their dream playground. The children’s drawings were then used to create the final playground design.
“Parks are vital to the health and social infrastructure in Anaheim,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “Simply put, parks are fun. Parks are natural settings for children and their parents to spend more time together, and parks provide opportunities so we can know our neighbors better. On behalf of the City of Anaheim, our thanks to KaBOOM!, Disney and the Y for their continued investment in our City. I look forward to watching our residents enjoy the new play equipment and the new revitalized park setting at Schweitzer Park.”
“This collaborative project embodies the Y’s focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” said Paul Andresen, president and CEO of the Anaheim Family YMCA. “This is the third playground we’ve worked on since 2011, and it shows how the power of collaboration can create lasting opportunities for youth and families to be healthy and active together.”
“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 Anaheim and the Anaheim Family YMCA, we moved one step closer to the KaBOOM! vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.”
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together community interests and business to construct more than 2,200 new places to play across North America. The new playground is one of dozens made possible with support from Disney and is an extension of Disney Magic of Healthy Living, an initiative that partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. By the end of 2013, Disney’s support will bring the magic of play to more than 50,000 kids and families.
“For more than 60 years, Walt Disney Imagineering has been dreaming up and creating magical places for families to come and play together,” said Craig Russell, Chief Design and Delivery Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. “We are excited to participate in this KaBOOM playground build along with our colleagues from the Disneyland Resort and our community partners to help create even more places for families to have fun.”
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City of Anaheim
The City of Anaheim, founded in 1857, is one of the nation’s premier municipalities and is one of California’s most populous cities. Anaheim covers 50 square miles with more than 343,000 residents and more than 2,950 City employees. The municipal corporation’s annual budget is $1.5 billion. Anaheim supports a thriving business community with companies such as Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc., L-3 Communications, Pacific Sunwear, and Disneyland Resort. Successful sports franchises call Anaheim home, including Angels Baseball, Anaheim Ducks, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, the 2012 Olympic Games Silver Medal winning U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, and the Professional Arena Soccer League Anaheim Bolts. Anaheim also boasts world-class meeting and entertainment venues with the Anaheim Convention Center, LEED-certified and the largest on the west coast, Honda Center, City National Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim GardenWalk, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim. In addition, Anaheim embraces its vibrant cultural arts community, including the world-renowned Anaheim Ballet. Annually, Anaheim welcomes millions of visitors to the city, truly making it where the world comes to live, work and play. For more information, please visit www.anaheim.net.
Anaheim Family YMCA
The Y is a cause-driven organization focused on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. The Anaheim Family YMCA was founded in 1911 and currently impacts 15,200 youth, teens and adults annually in 55 program sites across the greater Anaheim area. YMCA programs span from early childhood education, after-school, youth sports, swim, summer camps, summer learning and healthy living. For more information about the Anaheim Family YMCA’s programs and resources please visit www.anaheimymca.org.
Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and the newly reimagined Disney California Adventure park – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s three hotels are the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 969-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. With 25,000 Cast Members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County’s largest employer and generates $4.7 billion for the Southern California economy. The Resort has welcomed more than 600 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955. For detailed information about the Disneyland Resort, please visit www.disneyland.com.
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 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,200 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!: 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 offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.